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The San Francisco 49ers sign quarterback Joshua Dobbs

Updated: Apr 26

Dobbs has played for four teams since being drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers as a fourth-round pick in 2017.


The San Francisco 49ers have agreed to a one-year contract with quarterback Joshua Dobbs, his agent announced Monday.


"Congratulations @josh_dobbs1 agreed to a one-year contract with the @49ers," representative Mike McCartney posted on X.


Dobbs will likely replace Sam Darnold as the 49ers' backup behind starting quarterback Brock Purdy. Darnold signed with the Minnesota Vikings, the team with which Dobbs finished last season.


A lifetime backup through 2023, Dobbs, 29, produced one of the most unique storylines in the NFL last season, beginning with his late August trade from the Cleveland Browns to the Arizona Cardinals, who needed a short-term starter while star Kyler Murray completed his recovery from a knee injury.


Despite arriving after training camp, Dobbs started the Cardinals' first eight games, completing 62.8 percent of his passes for 1,569 yards and eight touchdowns. But, he also committed 12 turnovers -- eight interceptions and four fumbles -- and the Cardinals lost seven of those eight games before Dobbs was benched.


The Vikings acquired him on Oct. 31 to serve as an emergency backup after losing experienced starter Kirk Cousins (Achilles tendon) and backup Nick Mullens, who was recovering from a back injury. Then, just five days after the trade and without getting any practice reps with the Vikings offense, Dobbs replaced injured starter Jaren Hall and led Minnesota to a wild 31-28 victory over the Atlanta Falcons. A 27-19 victory over the New Orleans Saints the following week, combined with his status as a rocket engineering student at Tennessee, made him a cult hero. A NASA official nicknamed him "Passtronaut."


But Dobbs lost effectiveness on offense after that, and did not play again after head coach Kevin O'Connell benched him in the fourth quarter of a 3-0 win over the Las Vegas Raiders in Week 14.


Combining his time between the Cardinals and Vikings, Dobbs threw for 2,464 yards in 12 starts. He committed 17 turnovers and his teams went 3-9 in those games.


Dobbs has played for four teams since he was drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers as a fourth-round pick in 2017. He has thrown for 2,920 yards, with 15 touchdowns and 11 interceptions.

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