The 49ers are hosting a visit for a Jets quarterback on Thursday, but it's not Sam Darnold.
Veteran signal-caller Joe Flacco is meeting with San Francisco, per Ian Rapoport and Mike Garafolo of the NFL Network.
Flacco, 36, finished his 13th season in the NFL last year, donning green and white for the first time. The Super Bowl champ was a serviceable backup for the Jets in 2020. He never won any games, filling in for an injured Darnold five different times, but he averaged nearly 200 yards per game in that span (172.8 to be exact).
If San Francisco is looking to hold on to their franchise quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo entering the 2021 season, Flacco would be an experienced option to fill in when necessary and serve as a mentor for younger players in the locker room. He would likely be a cheap option on the free-agent market as well compared to other options.
As much as the 49ers could have been a suitor for Darnold this offseason, potentially trying to trade for New York's embattled quarterback, all signs point toward San Francisco steering clear of any deal with the Jets.
Rapoport reported a few days ago that he doesn't expect the 49ers to make any sort of push to acquire Darnold going forward.
"The response I've received on the Sam Darnold situation is do not expect the 49ers to be in it," Rapoport said on the Murph and Mac Podcast. "Maybe it could change. I guess, theoretically anything is possible. I never rule anything out in this ridiculous, stupid world. I do not expect the 49ers, as of my knowledge right now, to be in it."
As he alluded to, anything can change, but the market for Darnold seems to be getting smaller and smaller with every passing day. Multiple teams that also could have been interested in trading for Darnold—like the Washington Football Team and Chicago Bears—have signed veterans at the position in free agency. Even the Houston Texans signed a different quarterback this week.
Flacco still has some football left in the tank as he enters his final few years in the NFL. As much as he could be an asset for the Jets, helping to guide Darnold or whoever starts at quarterback next year and beyond, he's not exactly a scheme fit in New York's new offense.
With Robert Saleh bringing along Mike LaFleur from San Francisco to take over as the Jets offensive coordinator, this team would benefit from a quarterback that's capable of some mobility around the pocket. That doesn't mean Flacco can't contribute elsewhere. Only time will tell if he ends up with Saleh and LaFleur's former squad.
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