Former Arkansas QB Allen could be 49ers’ primary backup next season

After going to his second Super Bowl in three year, there is a chance former Arkansas quarterback Brandon Allen could be San Francisco’s primary back-up quarterback next season, according to

The 31-year-old Allen was the 49ers’ third-string emergency quarterback for the recent Super Bowl LVIII, sitting behind starter Brock Purdy and backup Sam Darnold. He is just two years removed from being Joe Burrow‘s primary backup for Cincinnati in Super Bowl LVI. Unfortunately, his teams came up short in both games.

But, the way things may likely shake down in the offseason, Allen could spend his ninth season in the NFL as San Francisco’s QB2.

With the rash of injuries to quarterbacks this past season, it could play into Allen’s favor. Seven of the league’s starting quarterbacks − nearly a quarter of them − were sidelined with season-ending injuries.

It is expected that teams will now put more of an emphasis on backup duties in free agency. With Darnold, the No. 3 overall pick in 2018, being one of the league’s top backups, his price tag may be too much for the 49ers to bear moving forward.

The Athletic’s Matt Barrows said the team views Allen as a “strong candidate” to be Purdy’s primary backup next season. The 49ers made it a priority to acquire Allen after the 2023 draft, even before trading away former first-round pick Trey Lance. With his experience level, Allen is currently signed to the veteran-minimum, $1.23M per season.

Darnold signed a $4.5M deal with the Niners last March, but will likely command more than that in 2024. Now with a year of experience in Head Coach Kyle Shanahan’s offense, Allen should have a chance to ascend.

After being drafted by Jacksonville in the sixth round – 201st overall – in the 2016 NFL Draft, Allen spend his first three seasons with the Jaguars and Los Angeles Rams, but did not see the field. After signing with the Broncos in 2019, he got his first three starts. He then spent three season’s as Joe Burrow’s back-up in Cincinnati, where he got six more starts while Burrow was injured.

The 6-foot-2, 209-pound Allen has a 2-7 career record as a starter, while throwing for 1,611 yards and 10 touchdowns. In the final regular-season game of 2020, he passed for 371 yards and two touchdowns in a 37-31 victory over Houston.

Coming out of Fayetteville High School in 2011, Rivals rated Allen as the No. 5 pro-style quarterback in the nation. Following a slow start as a freshman at Arkansas, he became a major component in turning around the dismal Razorback program, becoming the first quarterback to lead the Hogs to back-to-back bowl wins in consecutive seasons.

With eight professional seasons now under his belt, Allen is the second-longest tenured Razorback signal-caller to play in the NFL. Only Joe Ferguson’s 17-year career, which spanned four franchises from 1973-90, tops Allen’s.

In 38 collegiate starts, Allen ended his career with 7,463 yards passing, which now ranks fourth in program history, while also finishing second in career pass completions (583), second in attempts (1,016) and third in completion percentage (57.4).

Story originally appeared on Razorbacks Wire