Longtime sports radio host says 49ers are leaking to Rich Eisen

There have been plenty of takes regarding the quarterback drama surrounding the San Francisco 49ers, but one take in particular caught the eye of Bay Area sports radio veteran Larry Krueger this week as being just a bit too spot on.

The take in question came via a selectively edited clip from “The Rich Eisen Show,” where Eisen said San Francisco should field calls about quarterback Trey Lance if Brock Purdy fully recovers from his elbow injury and returns to form.

“If Purdy starts throwing now, and he starts showing up, and he can go in training camp, and they’re looking at him saying, ‘Oh, he looks just like the kid last year,’ and he’s not sitting there with his arm in ice, and he does what he needs to in training camp, and he does what he needs to do in the first preseason game, then he’s your guy,” Eisen said on Tuesday’s show.

“Then all of a sudden, they’ll be taking calls again for Lance,” Eisen continued. “That’s the guy. Because he’s the one with a fifth-year option that’s going to be through the roof. And if the Niners want to send him somewhere else to not have to deal with that and have to make that decision after hardly seeing him, let somebody else deal with that.”

It’s worth noting that this clip was less than a minute of a much longer segment featuring Eisen talking about the Niners quarterbacks.

Krueger, who did sports talk at KNBR for 25-plus years, suggested Thursday that NFL Network’s Rich Eisen has 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan and general manager John Lynch directly in his ear regarding the Niners’ quarterback situation this upcoming season.

“Eisen clearly has a pipeline to the #49ers’ front office,” the 53-year-old Krueger tweeted. “He’s a huge fan of Lynch/Shanahan. I can’t recall him ever being critical of either guy. He just laid out their QB game plan, and their thinking. What do you believe? Does Rich have this much insight on every team’s position battles or is he parroting what they’ve told him?”

Never mind that Eisen is a professional football-knower (and has been for most of his life) — there’s still little in Eisen’s take that indicates the Niners are feeding him details of their plans at quarterback this season. A couple of minutes before the clip starts, Eisen noted: “To me, the best-case scenario for San Francisco is to have Brock Purdy be the guy,” indicating this is all speculation. He then followed up with a bunch of compliments toward Lance, saying he believes he has “the biggest upside” of the Niners’ quarterback room.

In the final portion before the Twitter clip starts, Eisen points out that Purdy’s seventh-round contract is more favorable to the Niners than Trey Lance’s early-first-round deal because Purdy’s deal is a lot cheaper. Then the clip starts.

Everything Eisen notes is fairly common knowledge to any big football fan, let alone someone who covers the sport for a living. What’s more, Eisen has actually already said the Niners shouldn’t trade Lance for the sake of trading him before the draft given all of the injuries that happened last year. Even here, he’s simply suggesting the Niners take calls — which any team with this kind of quarterback logjam should probably do. 

If Eisen were getting the big insider info Kruger claims he is, he’d probably be sharing much more interesting tidbits, like when Purdy is for sure returning, or if the No. 2 spot is going to Lance or Sam Darnold. Instead, we just got speculation from a longtime professional football-watcher, who is clearly so good at his job that his opinions sound like Niners trade secrets to people who jump to conclusions based on Twitter clips.