I think it’s safe to say Carr won’t be Jim Harbaugh’s opening day starter, so how do they plan to address this situation?
If you thought Alex Smith or Troy Smith had a chance to return for 2011, new GM Trent Baalke already shot down that possibility. When asked if the quarterback of the future was already on the roster, Baalke responded by saying “I think it’s obvious that he isn’t at this point.”
The ideal scenario would be to draft someone in the 1st round. But who?
Jim Harbaugh intends to install the west coast offsense, which makes me believe Cam Newton and Jake Locker aren’t options. Their athleticism is certainly intriguing, but neither has demonstrated the consistent accuracy to be a good fit.
Ryan Mallett isn’t a great fit either. He has a rocket arm and struggles with his touch on the shorter passes required in the west coast offense.
That would leave Blaine Gabbert as the only option among the 1st-round quarterbacks. The only probably with that strategy is the fact that Gabbert is the consensus top available quarterback. Both Buffalo and Arizona would need to pass on Gabbert before the 49ers would have a shot at drafting him.
If they determine this isn’t the year to draft a quarterback – at least not in the 1st round – they may turn their attention to the free agent market. Matt Hasselbeck and Seneca Wallace are both free agents with experience in the west coast system. Either one would be an upgrade and could keep the seat warm for whoever Harbaugh tabs as the quarterback of the future.
And if they can’t find a free agent to their liking, perhaps the may be interested in Kevin Kolb. Michael Vick is a free agent, but the Eagles are likely to work out a long-term deal. If that happens, Kolb has already stated that he would like to either be the starter in Philly or be sent elsewhere. With just one year left on his contract, San Francisco may be an excellent place for Kolb to prove himself before hitting the open market in 2012.
The 49ers certainly don’t have a shortage of options. This will be an interesting search to keep tabs on throughout the offseason. Harbaugh – a former quarterback himself – will be heavily involved in the process of finding the 49ers next franchise QB, and there is no doubt he would like to find one sooner rather than later.