It has been suggested that the seemingly constant unease and turbulence of the 49ers quarterback situation under Kyle Shanahan — for the love of Nick Mullens — is some sort of organizational karmic tax we have to pay for enjoying two decades of Joe Montana and Steve Young.
That’s as good an explanation as any. I mean, here we are, on the eve of Brock Purdy’s mysterious UCL surgery, right back where we’ve been for much of the past decade: totally unsure if the 49ers have a QB that can win a Super Bowl.
The only certainty, has been the uncertainty.
And with free agency’s legal tampering starting Monday, general manager John Lynch may be revving up the company credit card — and perhaps FaceTiming Lamar Jackson, just for kicks.
That we don’t know who QB1 will be for a team replete with Fred Warner, Nick Bosa, Trent Williams, Christian McCaffrey, Brandon Aiyuk and George Kittle is some sort of cruel cosmic joke. Hence, the Montana/Young karmic tax theory.
Has Kyle ever had his guy?
For the record, I supported Jimmy Garoppolo. There is many a Jock Blog to prove it. That said, Jimmy G never won a Bowl. He got to one, had a 10-point lead in the fourth quarter. Then, stuff happened and some things are best left unsaid.
Many of you never believed Jimmy was the guy. Turns out Lynch and Shanahan didn’t believe he was the guy, either. They proved it by trading ocean-front real estate for the rights to Trey Lance.
That led us to wondering if Trey Lance will ever be the guy, and as of March, 2023, there is exactly zero evidence either way. That’s not ideal.
And that brings us to Purdy’s elbow and everyone’s new favorite medic, Doc Keith Meister from the Texas Rangers. (Is there some sort of particle goodness that Meister is on Bruce Bochy’s Texas staff? I’m grasping for anything here.)
There is a miracle drug here, and it’s Meister emerging from the operating room, removing his surgical gloves and saying: No problem, Faithful. Three month rehab. He’ll be ready for training camp. This is what you call the dream scenario. Saddle up the Iowa State kid and let his surprisingly cerebral talents flow.
And there is the other scenario, which seems more likely: Meister announces a six-month rehab until Purdy is fully ready. Six months from March 10 is Sept. 10, which means Purdy missed a six-week training camp and Week 1 is here and Purdy, everybody’s All-American, isn’t ready to go.
Toss Trey Lance the keys and hope this tantalizing talent, with scarily few repetitions, is ready to go? They say hope is not a strategy.
And then there is the nightmare scenario, the one former pitchers Mike Krukow and Markus “The Waterboy” Boucher have said is their ex-MLB, ex-college pitcher take: the UCL needs Tommy John, and Purdy is out until spring 2024.
(Cue the dark orchestral score here.)
If that’s the case, your choices are: A) The Trey Lance Express; or B) one of these big-time, big-name, Super Bowl-ready QBs we keep hearing about.
Lamar Jackson? Insane, right? Too costly, both in draft capital and huge money he wants, especially for a team that has to pay Nick Bosa and others. Still… the door is cracked.
Kirk Cousins or Matt Stafford? Former NFL GM Mike Lombardi told us both are available, if the 49ers want to make the call.
Tom Brady? Kitten or no kitten, that rumor won’t die until he turns 65. Maybe not even then.
The “Backup Guy” — Jacoby Brisset, Matt Ryan, etc — to be there in case Lance turns an ankle? Keep your phone on, John Lynch.
In other words, I’ve just thrown out about eight different scenarios.
Hardly the sort of Brady-in-New-England or Mahomes-in-Kansas-City stability one craves for. Heck, as Lombardi pointed out, there may only be four guys with iron-clad secure gigs: Mahomes, Josh Allen, Joe Burrow and Justin Herbert, as I was just texting with my old pal Aaron Rodgers.
It’s all very unsettling, and ripe for gossip, rumors and innuendo. Just the way talk radio and social media likes it, right?
Your move, Doc Meister.