NFL Free Agency

Why QB Allen's contract extension was easy 49ers decision

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When quarterback Brandon Allen signed with the 49ers last spring, he joined an already crowded quarterback room.

Allen entered, seemingly, as the No. 4 quarterback behind a recovering Brock Purdy, Trey Lance and Sam Darnold.

Ultimately, Allen’s presence was one of the reasons the 49ers opted to trade Lance, the No. 3 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, to the Dallas Cowboys for a 2024 fourth-round draft pick near the end of training camp.

The move was made after Purdy recovered quickly from significant elbow surgery and Sam Darnold beat out Lance for the backup job. The 49ers had enough confidence in Allen to move forward with him as the No. 3.

“This system works well for quarterbacks who can just be accurate and play on time,” Allen told NBC Sports Bay Area during training camp, citing his reason for joining the 49ers after previously serving as the backup to Joe Burrow with the Cincinnati Bengals.

The 49ers made the unsurprising move Monday of agreeing to terms with Allen on a one-year contract extension, his agent, Kyle Strongin, confirmed to NBC Sports Bay Area.

Currently, Allen is the only other quarterback under contract behind Purdy, who finished fourth in the voting for NFL Most Valuable Player.

Allen, 31, did not appear in any games with the 49ers last season, though In four seasons with the Bengals, he started nine of the 15 games in which he appeared.

Meanwhile, Darnold’s future remains unclear. But his status could be settled shortly, as the early negotiating period opened Monday morning for free agents.

The 49ers would like to bring him back for another season as insurance behind Purdy, but there might be other teams who will enter the mix and provide him with a better opportunity — or a bigger paycheck.

General manager John Lynch said Darnold could have made more money last season but opted to sign with the 49ers. With so many NFL teams with quarterback vacancies, Darnold could be seen as a bridge quarterback for a team that hopes to be able to land a long-term starter in next month’s draft.

Allen certainly is not guaranteed to be the No. 2 quarterback for the 49ers, but it looks like a good bet he will again break camp on the team’s 53-man roster.

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