The San Francisco 49ers had better start making moves to bring in another quarterback before Alex Smith has his bags completely packed. While there is little question that Smith will leave eventually, there are big questions regarding the free agent quarterbacks available to sign. And while the quarterback free agent talent pool isn’t as deep as it has been in the past, the one’s that are of some quality are being picked up quickly. Though it must be kept in mind that the 49ers are not looking for an expensive back up, just a capable back up to fill the void if Colin Kaepernick gets hurt. Unfortunately, since Kaepernick is making less than most of these guys, his contract will indefinitely have to be restructured, or they won’t get anyone of any real value.
Matt Moore: Probably the safest bet of the entire group, Moore is young and talented, and his days as a Miami Dolphin are certainly finished. At 27 years old he more than likely knows that he is not going to be a starter in the league any longer, but he makes for an excellent back up. His price is kind of high for a back up, he made 2.5 million per season with his previous contract, and that price is already higher than what Kaepernick is making. But if he does make the realization that he is forever going to be a back up, he could take a bit of a pay cut and still be happy. It would be ideal if the 49ers could land him at two million while restructuring Kaepernick’s contract.
Drew Stanton: Also a career back up quarterback now at the young age of 29, he has mobility and a decent arm, and has shown poise in the past. His asking price is perfect for the 49ers as well. Stanton made just over 1.2 million with the Indianapolis Colts last year, and probably isn’t expecting a huge payday. He would be an excellent fit in the 49ers organization, that is if he doesn’t take another deal with the young Colts.
Jason Campbell: If he does not resign with the Chicago Bears, which is a possibility, he would make an excellent addition to the 49ers squad. At 31 years old, he has a lot of experience, and would be very beneficial to Kaepernick. He had employed the same elusive quarterbacking style when he was younger, and has seen the pitfalls of stepping too far over the line. His input would benefit Kaepernick probably better than any other quarterback in the league. His price is high, making 3.5 million last year, but at this point in his career he has to start expecting pay decreases adjusted to his production level. It’s not out of the question that the 49ers pick him up for around two million.
Matt Leinart: It’s obvious that Leinart’s career did not pan out as many expected, now relegated to a perennial back up role. At 30 years old though, he does have a good deal of knowledge to pass on to Kaepernick. It is very possible that the 49ers make a run at Leinart, he was very productive as a back up for the other teams he played for. He probably has more talent than any quarterback in the class and his price is ideal. He only made $700,000 last year, so the 49ers could even offer him a raise to get him on the other side of the bay.
Brady Quinn: Now a journeyman quarterback in the league at only 28, Quinn has seen his stock rise and fall nearly every year. A monster arm and fearlessness keep him on the radar of many teams out there. Though strictly for back up role duties. He could come to the 49ers and be a very big addition at minimal cost. He has the talent to take over a role for an injured Kaepernick and his asking price could be had for around 1.5 million. It’s not likely that he gets a raise from any team out there, so he would probably jump at the chance for a role on a Super Bowl contending team.
Derek Anderson: Almost the same story as Quinn, just 30 years old heading into the 2013 season. He has bounced around the league for some time now, and his arm strength keeps his interest peaked for a back up role. The thing with Anderson is that he is very coachable, and would able to make strides within the 49ers offense. He will not start, unless due to injury, but he could step in and be very productive. And his asking price would be very low, the 49ers could even offer him a raise, he made just $825,000 last year on a one-year contract. He to would probably jump at the chance of working on a championship contending team.
So there is a some hope for the 49ers to bring in a quality back up to Kaepernick, even Rex Grossman or Byron Leftwich would be a quality investment, if only for their game knowledge at 33 years old. More than likely you will see one of these players in a 49ers uniform this year, hoping for a chance at a Super Bowl win.
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