The 49ers signed Sudfeld to a one-year contract Wednesday. Sudfeld will join a crowded quarterback room in San Francisco that already includes Josh Rosen and Josh Johnson as depth options behind Jimmy Garoppolo (ankle). The 49ers could also invest their No. 3 overall pick in April's draft into a signal-caller, so the addition of Sudfeld could create robust competition even for the third spot on the depth chart.
Sudfeld completed five of his 12 pass attempts for 32 yards and an interception in his lone appearance during the 2020 season. Sudfeld didn't see the field until the regular-season finale versus Washington, when Carson Wentz was a healthy inactive for the contest. Head coach Doug Pederson then elected to bench an ineffective Jalen Hurts for the second half of that contest, allowing Sudfeld to get some snaps in the final two quarters. The 27-year-old is due to become an unrestricted free agent this offseason, and the fact that Pederson has since been dismissed could hurt Sudfeld's chances of sticking around in Philadelphia after he had been with the organization as a backup for the past four seasons.
Sudfeld (coach's decision) is inactive for Sunday's game versus the Rams. The nature of the Eagles' decision is not yet known, but either rookie Jalen Hurts has vaulted Sudfeld for the No. 2 QB role, or the former will take the field Sunday for particular sub packages. In any case, Sudfeld won't get a chance to see the field Week 2.
Sudfeld is listed as the No. 2 quarterback on Philadelphia's first unofficial depth chart, Martin Frank of The Delaware News Journal reports. Sudfeld beat out Jalen Hurts for the backup gig in training camp. Though the Eagles no doubt envision the rookie second-round pick eventually climbing the depth chart, the job will be Sudfeld's to lose to kick off the 2020 campaign. Sudfeld didn't play in 2019, and he's only logged three appearances through his first three years with the Eagles, but his familiarity with the organization and scheme is an invaluable asset coming off an abbreviated offseason.
Eagles coach Doug Pederson suggested Tuesday that while Sudfeld will have to compete for the team's backup quarterback job, he expects the 26-year-old to beat out rookie Jalen Hurts for the No. 2 job behind starter Carson Wentz, Matt Mullin of PhillyVoice.com reports. "Football teams are going to have to rely on their veteran players, and Nate is one of those guys for us. I have a ton of confidence in Nate to become the backup quarterback," Pederson said. "Nothing is ever handed to anybody, and we always try to create competition at every position, and quarterback is not exempt from that. But I fully expect Nate to come in and be aggressive and do the things that he's capable of doing and become the backup to Carson." Sudfeld made appearances in only three regular-season games through his first three years in the organization, completing 20 of 25 attempts for 156 yards and one touchdown. He dropped to No. 3 on the depth chart in 2019 after the Eagles signed veteran Josh McCown last August, but he'll head into training camp second in the pecking order after McCown wasn't re-signed. While the Eagles clearly have big plans for Hurts after nabbing him with the No. 53 overall pick in April's draft, the abbreviated offseason due to the coronavirus pandemic works against the Oklahoma product's chances of capturing a notable role in 2020, at least as a traditional pocket passer. Hurts could still see occasional snaps as a gadget player or Wildcat quarterback, but Sudfeld's prior familiarity with the Eagles' system and competent play when called upon in the past gives him a major leg up in the battle for the backup gig.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
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