49ers agree to one-year deal with QB Sam Darnold, source says

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Is Sam Darnold a win-win for the 49ers?

Nick Wagoner breaks down the 49ers’ decision to sign Sam Darnold.

The The San Francisco 49ers have agreed to a one-year contract with former Carolina Panthers quarterback Sam Darnold, a source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

He bolstered the 49ers’ depth at quarterback with the departure of Jimmy Garoppolo to the Las Vegas Raiders and the return of Brock Birdie and Trae Lance.

Darnold, 25, took a step last season to rebuild his career, which has been in a downward spiral since being selected with the third pick in the 2018 draft.

After being activated from injured reserve, he went 4-2 in the final six games for the Panthers, throwing seven touchdowns to three interceptions and rushing for two touchdowns.

The player, who went 13-25 in three years with the Jets, threw 45 touchdown passes to 39 interceptions after a stellar college career at USC.

He showed improvement from his 2021 season with Carolina, in which he went 4-7, throwing 13 interceptions for nine touchdowns.

The Panthers acquired Darnold in a trade with the Jets during the 2021 offseason, hoping a change of scenery would help revive his career. He went 3-0 before losing eight of his last nine games, missing six starts with a shoulder injury.

Carolina traded for Baker Mayfield, the first pick in the 2018 draft, to compete with Darnold for the starting position last season. Darnold lost work in training camp and then suffered a high ankle sprain in the final preseason game. He started the season injured and didn’t get a chance to play until late in the season after Mayfield went 2-8 as the starter.

Darnold got a different perspective last season by spending more time with the defensive linemen that hurt him in part.

ESPN’s David Newton contributed to this report.

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