The San Francisco 49ers have added another quarterback to their roster, signing veteran Brandon Allen to a one-year deal on Wednesday. Allen, who has played for four different teams in his five-year career, will compete for a backup spot behind starter Jimmy Garoppolo.
Allen started five games for the Cincinnati Bengals last season, throwing for 925 yards, five touchdowns and four interceptions. He also ran for 39 yards and a score.
He led the Bengals to two wins, including a 37-31 upset over the Houston Texans in Week 16.
The 49ers were in need of quarterback depth after trading Nick Mullens to the Philadelphia Eagles and releasing Josh Rosen earlier this offseason. They also drafted Trey Lance with the third overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, but he is expected to sit and learn behind Garoppolo for at least a year.
Allen will join a crowded quarterback room that also includes Nate Sudfeld and Josh Johnson. He will have to impress the coaching staff in training camp and preseason to earn a spot on the final 53-man roster.
The 49ers are hoping that Garoppolo can stay healthy and lead them back to the playoffs after a disappointing 6-10 season in 2020. Garoppolo missed 10 games due to ankle injuries and was inconsistent when he played.
He completed 67.1% of his passes for 1,096 yards, seven touchdowns and five interceptions in six games.
Allen, who was drafted by the Jacksonville Jaguars in the sixth round of the 2016 NFL Draft, has also spent time with the Los Angeles Rams and Denver Broncos.
He has a career record of 3-5 as a starter, with 1,495 passing yards, nine touchdowns and eight interceptions. He has a career passer rating of 75.4.
Final Thoughts: 49ers sign Brandon Allen to compete for backup quarterback spot
The San Francisco 49ers’ signing of veteran quarterback Brandon Allen to a one-year deal makes sense for a team that was in need of depth at the position.
With the departure of Nick Mullens and the release of Josh Rosen, the 49ers needed a backup quarterback to compete with Nate Sudfeld and Josh Johnson.
Allen’s experience as a starter for the Cincinnati Bengals last season gives him an edge in the competition.
While Allen is unlikely to challenge Jimmy Garoppolo for the starting spot, his presence adds to the competition for the backup job. The 49ers’ decision to draft Trey Lance with the third overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft shows that they are planning for the future, but also highlights the need for a reliable backup in case Garoppolo gets injured or struggles.
Allen’s performance with the Bengals last season was solid, but not spectacular. He threw for less than 200 yards in three of his five starts, but did lead the team to two victories.
His experience in different offensive systems could also be an asset, as the 49ers run a complex scheme that requires quarterbacks to make quick decisions and read defenses.
Overall, the signing of Brandon Allen is a low-risk move that could pay off if he performs well in training camp and preseason. The 49ers are hoping for a bounce-back season from Garoppolo and a playoff berth, but having a reliable backup quarterback is important for any team with postseason aspirations.
Allen’s presence gives the 49ers some insurance at a key position and adds to the competition in their quarterback room.