49ers Sign Former Falcons Backup QB


Getty Former Atlanta Falcons QB Kurt Benkert.

The San Francisco 49ers worked out five quarterbacks on Tuesday, September 20: Kurt Benkert, Garrett Gilbert, Mike Glennon, Kevin Hogan, and AJ McCarron.

Of the five, the Niners must have liked what they had seen from Benkert the most and signed him to the practice squad following the workout, per NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo.

The 49ers were in need of a 3rd string quarterback behind Brock Purdy and QB1 Jimmy Garoppolo after Trey Lance underwent season-ending surgery on Monday to repair a fractured right ankle and ligament damage.

Benkert’s Release by Atlanta Was Heartbreaking

Benkert split his collegiate career playing for East Carolina and the University of Virginia.

And then after going undrafted in 2018, he landed on Atlanta’s practice squad for his rookie year. He returned the following season but didn’t make it past the preseason after a toe injury put him on the IR. He came back to compete in 2020 but COVID-19 canceled the league’s preseason, so, once again, Benkert lost out on a chance to showcase his talents.

Still, he really thought he had a shot to make the team’s final roster following an outstanding offseason at camp and all of the hard work he had put in.

“I’ve worked my ass off. When it comes down to it, I work really hard in football and give it everything I have and am always prepared,” said in an open interview with  Tyler Dunne of Go Long last year. “I think last year with Covid really opened my eyes. I had the best camp I could possibly have. I was balling. Making plays. I was like, ‘There’s no way in hell they cut me and put me on the practice squad.’ I was like, ‘I can’t be cut. There’s no way.’”
However, that ended up not being the case for Benkert as the Falcons ended up releasing him.
“That’s just part of being an undrafted guy,” Benkert said. “Until you step a foot on the field in the game, and people have to see it, they’re not worried about somebody stealing you.”
Benkert’s journey continued and he was signed to the Green Bay Packers practice squad where he spent the 2021 season and was released in June.
Despite having four NFL seasons under his belt, Benkert has yet to play a regular-season snap, but that could change this season.

What Benkert Was Up to Before Landing in San Francisco

After getting cut by Green Bay in mid-June, Benkert waited by the phone, hoping another team would call.

It was 1 Week away from NFL kickoff and Benkert had yet to hear the phone ring. He did have a tryout with the Tennesee Titans in August, but nothing came about from it.

As he waited he continued to train and did consulting work for tech companies.

“I got a taste of life after football and it’s not so scary,” Benkert said after landing in San Francisco. “But at the same time, I missed the sh*t out of this and I’m happy to be back practicing, learning installs and going through the prep of it.”





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