It didn’t well for Brock Purdy and the San Francisco 49ers Sunday, but in the big picture, the franchise has its answer at the game’s most important position.
The 49ers’ spunky rookie left the game in the first quarter at the Philadelphia Eagles in the NFC championship game after getting hit on the right elbow and losing a fumble on a planned pass play. At halftime, San Francisco coach Kyle Shanahan told the broadcast that Purdy would not be able to return. However, he was forced back into the game when his replacement Josh Johnson went to the locker with a concussion and couldn’t return. Yet, Purdy was basically rendered to handing the ball off before finally sitting in favor of running back Christian McCaffrey at the end of the game.
So, the 49ers, who previously lost starting quarterback Trey Lance and then Jimmy Garoppolo to season-ending injuries during the regular season, ended this extremely challenging season with no quarterback.
Yet, moving forward, this squad, that won 12 straight games leading up to their deflating blowout defeat to the Eagles on Sunday and finished 15-5 overall, has no issues at quarterback.
The time is now to proclaim that Purdy, the very last pick in the 2022 NFL draft, is the answer for 2023 and beyond. The 49ers got their guy, whether it was by accident or not. There is no reason for Shanahan and 49ers’ general manager John Lynch to overthink this.
It’s Purdy’s team.
His injury Sunday proved it as much as his incredible play and guidance since he took over for Garoppolo in Week 13. The 49ers were basically cooked as soon as Purdy went down.
Johnson had no magic and couldn’t get the offense going. So, it was living proof that Shanahan’s offense does need a capable player behind center and its not a self-driving unit.
The 49ers lost a chance to go to the Super Bowl because Purdy was not on the field. As absurd and unlikely that sounded two months ago, it’s the truth.
So, let’s just trash can all this Tom Brady speculation. Sure, Brady would probably love to finish his NFL career in his hometown. It would be great for him and his family. It wouldn’t be great for the 49ers. They are much better off continuing to develop Purdy that going with a 46-year-old quarterback. San Francisco has already proven it can win with this 23-year-old and because of him. They already have.
Also, it may be awkward to punt on Lance less than two years after giving up the farm for him in a draft trade and after watching him have just start just two games in 2022. it’s weird and it’s unexpected, but weird and unexpected comes when Mr. Irrelevant shows he’s the perfect fit for a team.
The 49ers will never recoup the capital it spent to acquire Lance if they trade him. But it’s a quarterback-hungry league. They should get return for him. Plus, hitting the lottery with the Purdy pick will soothe that pain.
His teammates want Purdy. They’ve been raving about his leadership and composure since December. This is such an easy call. Lynch and Shanahan have to know it. they have a championship-caliber team and they also have a quarterback to build around. This is simple — it’s Brock Purdy’s team.
San Francisco can let everyone speculate about what they are going to do, but it needs to focus on building around Purdy and not moving on without him.