John Lynch explains QB shakeup, what changed with Lance since last week

© Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

Many were stunned when the 49ers traded Trey Lance, opting for Sam Darnold as their backup quarterback and Brandon Allen as their No. 3.

But SF saw more than enough in training camp to feel confident in those decisions.

On Thursday morning, general manager John Lynch discussed what he saw from the two backups to feel good about them going into the season.

“The arm talent is undeniable. He’s an extremely talented thrower of the football,” Lynch said. “I think what he did is really acclimate well to our offense and we thought he would because some of the things we do — moving the pocket with with the keeper game, play action pass, spreading the ball accurately to our weapons and allowing them to do the rest with run after catch and such — are things he thrives in.

“And so sure enough, he did, and really grew throughout camp. And we felt like at some point, he distanced himself from the rest of the guys for that number two job and so, you give credit to Sam. We’re very excited about him. He’s been a tremendous teammate.”

As for Brandon Allen?

“Brandon has been a viable backup quarterback in this league for the last five years and came in and impressed. It was very much like Purdy last year, he didn’t get a lot reps,” Lynch said. “He’d get four or five a day and he go in there and make the most of them and really showed well, and then he started getting more and he just kept thriving throughout it. And Brandon had a really good camp. He’s done it at this level before and so we’re excited about his game as well.”

But even having seen what those two quarterbacks did, the 49ers still had to make the decision to trade Trey Lance. Not only that, but he was traded to a historic rival in the Dallas Cowboys.

And the week prior, Lynch told Murph and Mac that it was likely Lance would remain with the 49ers. So what changed? And what made Lynch comfortable sending him to Dallas? He explained that Dallas simply offered more than anyone else.

“As they say, tie goes to the runner. Tie would have gone to someone else, but it wasn’t a tie,” Lynch said. “There were a couple of teams left at the end. And I told the other teams like, I don’t want him to go here, but that’s that’s where he ended up.”

He added that he takes accountability for the Lance pick failing to work out, but said “some other good things,” including the pick of Brock Purdy, have allowed the 49ers to move forward without Lance.

Listen to the full interview above. You can listen to every KNBR interview on our podcast page at or wherever you listen to podcasts.

Catch Murph & Mac weekdays from 6 a.m. – 10 a.m. on KNBR 104.5 / 680 and streaming live on


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