Some might consider this as an extreme cold snap.
Sam Darnold, quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers, must have been impressive during the offseason so far, because a reporter thinks the Gates’ first-round pick might be the most talented pitcher in team history.
“Sam Darnold might be — can I say this — the most talented football pitcher ever,” NBC Sports San Francisco correspondent Matt Mayocco said during an appearance Thursday on KNBR’s “Murph & Mac Podcast.”
“Let’s just put it in the very high rank of guys who can go down back into their pockets and throw a football.
“I think he has had no chance of really succeeding since his college days ended. I think he’s had four head coaches in five years, and five offensive coordinators in five years. He is a talented man.”
Darnold has yet to play a game with San Fran, where quarterback legends and Hall of Famers Joe Montana and Steve Young have won a combined seven Super Bowl titles.
The 25-year-old signed a one-year deal with the 49ers in March.
Darnold — who spent three seasons with the Jets after the team selected him with the third overall pick in the 2018 draft — spent two seasons with Carolina.
Darnold’s $4.5 million, one-year deal with the 49ers could rise to $11.5 million if the quarterback meets the incentives for playing time, individual and team performance.
In 2022 with the Panthers, Darnold started six games and completed 82 of 140 pass attempts (58.6%) for 1,143 yards, seven touchdowns, and a passer rating of 92.6 to go with 26 rushing for 106 yards and two touchdowns.
During the 2021 season, which was the last time Darnold was the team’s main starter, he ranked 30th out of 33 quarterbacks in completion percentage at 59.9%, per team rating.
In his five seasons with the Jets and Panthers, Darnold has gone 21-34 in his starts.
Darnold is currently locked in a quarterback battle with Trey Lance and Brock Purdy for the starting spot in 2023, though you would have considered Darnold the long shot between those three.
Named the starter at the start of 2022, Lance returned from a broken ankle he sustained in Week 2, which ended his season and required two surgeries.
He is set to return to the team’s Ottawa, which starts for most clubs on May 22.
Purdy was believed to be the favorite for the starting job after a successful rookie campaign when he stepped in for the injured Jimmy Garoppolo, who replaced Lance at the end of the season.
Seventh-round pick recovering from right elbow surgery for a torn ulnar collateral ligament he sustained during the NFC Championship game against the Eagles.
Darnold seems to be adjusting well to his new team.
The San Clemente, Calif., native was all smiles with teammates, running back Christian McCaffrey and tight end George Kittle as they attended Game 2 of the NBA’s Western Conference Semifinals at Chase Center, as the Warriors defeated the Lakers 127-100 Thursday night.
The NFL players were seen rocking commentary and chatting with Warriors star Klay Thompson after the game.