San Francisco 49ers linked to former top pick as Brock Purdy’s backup on NFL trade market

Zach Wilson
Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

The defending NFC champion San Francisco 49ers find themselves in the market for a backup quarterback to youngster Brock Purdy.

Sam Darnold filled that void a season ago. But he’s set to hit NFL free agency and might not be back in Northern California.

Despite Purdy’s stellar play as a sophomore, you always have to plan for injuries at the quarterback position. That was no more clear than a season ago with over half of the league’s starting quarterbacks missing time to injury.

According to this note from ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler, San Francisco is one of the favorites to land New York Jets quarterback Zach Wilson.

Wilson, 24, was granted permission by the Jets to seek out a trade last week. This comes after three disastrous seasons for the former No. 2 pick out of BYU in Jersey. This past season saw Wilson threow eight touchdowns compared to seven interceptions in 11 starts as he was called on to replace an injured Aaron Rodgers for the Jets.

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Zach Wilson makes perfect sense for the San Francisco 49ers

Zach Wilson, San Francisco 49ers
Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

Despite his terrible three-year run in Jersey, there is certainly a fit for Wilson in Northern California. He’d benefit from a change of scenery. He’d also benefit from head coach Kyle Shanahan’s innovative offense.

From a 49ers perspective, buying low on Wilson makes sense. He could likely be had for a conditional late-round pick in the 2024 NFL Draft. San Francisco boasts 12 selections. It is not going to use all of those.

Meanwhile, any acquiring team would be on the hook for a mere $1.06 million cap hit. That’s incredibly cheap by today’s quarterback standards.

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