A source says, the former Carolina Panthers quarterback has signed a one-year contract with the San Francisco 49ers.
With Jimmy Garoppolo’s departure to the Las Vegas Raiders and the return of Brock Purdy and Trey Lance from injuries, he adds to the 49ers’ quarterback depth.
The 25-year-old Darnold started a new chapter in his career last year, which had been on a downward trajectory ever since he was selected with the third overall pick in the 2018 draft.
After being activated from injured reserve, he played in the Panthers’ final six games and went 4-2. He threw seven touchdowns to three interceptions and rushed for two touchdowns.
After a stellar college career at USC, the player went 13-25 in three seasons with the Jets, throwing 45 touchdown passes and 39 interceptions.
Additionally, he improved from his performance with Carolina in 2021, when he went 4-7 and threw 13 interceptions in addition to nine touchdowns.
Darnold was acquired by the Panthers in a trade with the Jets during the offseason of 2021 in the hope that a change of scenery would help his career recover. After going 3-0, he lost eight of his next nine games and missed six starts because of a shoulder injury.
In order to challenge Darnold for the starting position last season, Carolina made a trade for Baker Mayfield, the first overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. Darnold was fired during training camp and then hurt his ankle in the final preseason game with a high sprain. He was placed on injured reserve at the beginning of the season, and Mayfield was let go at the end of the season after going 2-8 as the starter.
Darnold attributed some of his improvement last season to spending a lot of time with defensive players while on injured reserve to gain a new perspective.
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