Monday, June 20, 2011

San Francisco 49ers: Odds For Alex Smith, Colin Kaepernick and the Rest of the QB Race

With no current NFL season and talks still underway as to if a 2011-12 season will ever happen, speculation is all we have these days.

If there was a team that has been hurt the most from the NFL Lockout, it would be the San Francisco 49ers.

The 49ers have a new coach in Jim Harbaugh that has no experience running an NFL team. He cannot organize a practice with his team, nor can he even name his own starting quarterback.

Currently, the 49ers have two quarterbacks on their roster. One may not ever start in the NFL again, and the other is a second round draft pick with zero experience running an NFL offense.

David Carr and Colin Kaepernick may be the only two quarterbacks on the 49ers' roster, but neither will be starting in Week 1.

For their starting quarterback, San Francisco will be looking elsewhere, but they will have to wait to even do that.

Here are the top possibilities at quarterback, and the odds they will be starting in Week 1.

4. David Carr

Although Carr has been quoted as saying that as far as he knows the 49ers' starting quarterback position is up for grabs, the reality is that the fans of San Francisco may not let that happen. They may burn down Candlestick Park before that day comes.

The 49ers coaches told Carr that everyone has the same shot at becoming the starting quarterback once the lockout is lifted, which is kind of like telling the rest of the field in the 2011 U.S. Open that they had a shot at winning over Rory McIlroy heading into the final round.

It is just not going to happen.

Sure, if worst comes to worst and all the 49ers' plans of acquiring a free agent quarterback crumble, then there will actually be a quarterback competition between Carr and Kaepernick, and I do not even like those odds for Carr.

Rest assured, Carr will not be the starter in Week 1.

3. Carson Palmer

As the days of the lockout continue to increase, there is a feeling that the chances of the 49ers landing Carson Palmer decrease.

Instead of having limited time to pursue Palmer, the odds are the 49ers will just keep it simple and sign Alex Smith.

Palmer has said that he would rather retire than play for the Cincinnati Bengals, and he was practically granted that in the NFL Draft when Cincinnati took QB Andy Dalton in the second round.

It is safe to say the Bengals have moved on from Palmer just as much as Palmer has moved on from the Bengals.

So where will Palmer play?

As far as reports go, the NFC West has available quarterback positions with team that have shown interest in the Pro Bowler.

The Cardinals, Seahawks and 49ers have all been rumored to be pursuing teams, but it is Seattle who may have the best shot at landing the quarterback in search of a new start.

For the 49ers, they need Palmer and want Palmer, but the longer this lockout drags on, the quicker the 49ers are going to need a starting quarterback.

Alex Smith just seems like the quick and easy way out.

2. Colin Kaepernick

When the 49ers selected Kaepernick in the second round of the 2011 NFL Draft, it was safe to say that they had dubbed him the quarterback of the future, but one that may have a small asterisk next to it, just in case.

Kaepernick is not signed because of the NFL Lockout, but he has the second best shot at starting in Week 1 of the 2011-12 NFL season.

The Nevada star is not ready for the NFL, though. He has been involved in the pistol offense in Reno and has little, if any, experience in an NFL offense. That might scare a few 49er fans, especially the way the team moved up to acquire the long and athletic signal caller.

Although there have been rumors of Kaepernick being tutored by the No. 1 pick in the 2012 NFL Draft (Andrew Luck), there is no substitute for an NFL training camp.

With his inexperience in an NFL system, it is unlikely that Harbaugh would turn the team over Kaepernick in Week 1 of his very rookie season.

Unless free agency goes terribly wrong for the team, Kaepernick will have to wait just another year to be seriously considered for the starting job in San Francisco.

1. Alex Smith

Smith is not signed to an NFL team yet, but you might as well pencil him in as the starting quarterback for the 49ers in Week 1.

Harbaugh may be jumping the gun a tad when he keeps referring to Smith as his guy, especially since no papers have been signed and Carr and Kaepernick are on the roster. But you cannot blame a coach for being so eager as to put a seal on a deal that may not even be close to happening.

Or maybe it is close to happening. I cannot tell which way the NFL Lockout is leaning these days.

Still, the way Harbaugh talks about him like it is a done deal, we have to figure that Smith starting in Week 1 is all but that.

It is not the way many would have liked it to be, though.

Smith seems almost like a cop-out, or the easy way out for the 49ers.

This is an exact reason why the lockout hurts the 49ers. Instead of pursuing a notable free agent quarterback to lead their team, they are forced to take the quick and easy answer in order to put an able team out there.

As much as it angers San Francisco, there is no other quarterback reasonably available that gives the 49ers a better chance of winning.

Until Kaepernick can get an offseason under his belt, or the 49ers have the time to pursue a franchise quarterback, get used to Smith under center in 2011-12.

No comments:

Post a Comment