He became the second 49ers starting quarterback to suffer a season-ending injury, as Trey Lance suffered an ankle injury in Week 2.
San Francisco was forced to go with Brock Purdy, the last player taken in April’s NFL draft, under center, and he played a solid game, as he threw two touchdown passes to help the team defeat Tua Tagovailoa and company, 33-17.
The next day, the Carolina Panthers released Baker Mayfield, and almost immediately, he was aggressively linked to the 49ers.
The Panthers are expected to release Baker Mayfield, per @RapSheet 😳
Have the 49ers found their new QB? 👀 pic.twitter.com/alGKEMJEqm
— FanDuel (@FanDuel) December 5, 2022
Would this actually be a good idea for them?
Mayfield’s Talent Is Undeniable, But He Comes With Baggage
Mayfield was the top pick in the 2018 NFL Draft by the Cleveland Browns, and there was lots of hope that he would lead them to the type of success they hadn’t enjoyed in decades.
At times, he played well, especially as a rookie when he set a new league record for most touchdown passes by a first-year player, and in 2020 when he led the Browns to their first playoff win since the mid-1990s.
But he has had trouble getting along with coaches and teammates at other times.
Then there is the issue of his inconsistent play, as well as his tendency to make mistakes in the fourth quarter.
In seven games this season, Mayfield has had just six touchdown passes, plus six interceptions while completing only 57.8 percent of his passes.
The 49ers have a championship-caliber culture, and one bad apple could taint the entire locker room and prevent them from reaching their potential.
They can and perhaps should consider adding Mayfield, but the risks seem to outweigh the benefits, especially this late in the season.