A Look at Starting Quarterbacks in 49ers History
San Francisco 49ers quarterbacks have proved to be some of the greatest there are from Steve DeBerg to Joe Montana to Steve Young all the way to Shaun Hill.
The QB position is always an important one! Lets take a look back at the quarterbacks that have graced a red and gold uniform.
My personal favorite is Steve Young.
In 1967, Spurrier was drafted during the first round by the San Francisco 49ers. Spurrier spent nine years with the 49ers before playing his last NFL season in 1976 with the expansion Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
During his 10-year career, Spurrier played in a total of 106 games, accumulating 597 completions, including 6,878 yards and 40 touchdowns, in 1,151 pass attempts.
Pictured in as a Falcon.
The first part of DeBerg's NFL career found him in San Francisco with Bill Walsh. In the 1979 and 1980 NFL seasons he set several records for sheer number of passing attempts and completions.
Walsh aspired to even greater things, though, and quickly brought in Joe Montana.
Amazingly, similar events unfolded again and again over the next decade, wherever DeBerg sought employment.
He was not only with the 49ers when they drafted Joe Montana, but also with the Denver Broncos when John Elway arrived, and at Tampa Bay when both Steve Young and Vinny Testaverde were brought in.
In each case, DeBerg offered solid but unspectacular performance before being replaced.
Although Montana appeared in all 16 regular season games during the 1979 season, he only threw 23 passes.
He spent most of the season as the No. 2 player on the San Francisco depth chart behind fellow quarterback Steve DeBerg.
Montana did not become the number one quarterback until midway through the 1980 season.
On December 7, 1980, San Francisco hosted the New Orleans Saints.
The Saints, winless at the time, took a 35–7 lead at halftime. At the start of the fourth quarter, New Orleans still led by a score of 35–21, but San Francisco tied the game by the end of regulation play. In overtime, Ray Wersching kicked a field goal to win the game for San Francisco.
This marked the first time in Montana's career where his team overcame a fourth quarter deficit to win a game.
During his 16 seasons in the NFL, this happened a total of 31 times with Montana at quarterback; 26 of those games were while Montana was with San Francisco.
Though San Francisco finished 1980 with a record of six wins and ten losses, Montana passed for 1,795 yards and 15 touchdown passes against nine interceptions. He also completed 64.5 percent of his passes, which led the league.
Montana began the 1981 season as San Francisco's starting quarterback.
The season ended up as one of the franchise's most successful seasons to that point. Backed in part by Montana's strong performance at quarterback, the team finished the regular season with a 13–3 record.
In fact, Montana helped San Francisco win two of those games with fourth-quarter comebacks. The season was a precursor to one of Montana's most memorable moments as a professional quarterback.
On January 10, 1982, San Francisco faced the Dallas Cowboys at Candlestick Park in the National Football Conference Championship Game.
The final quarter was marked by one of the most notable plays in NFL history. Larry Schwartz of ESPN.com later defined the 1981 NFC Championship as Montana's signature game.
When San Francisco took possession with 4:54 left in regulation play, Dallas led 27–21; the drive began on San Francisco's 11-yard line.
Behind six successful Montana completions and four running plays, San Francisco moved the ball to the Dallas 13-yard line.
After one unsuccessful pass and then a seven-yard gain, San Francisco faced third down from the Dallas 6-yard line.
Montana took the snap and ran to his right. He then made an off-balance pass toward the back of the end zone, and San Francisco wide receiver Dwight Clark made a leaping catch for the game-tying touchdown. With just 51 seconds left on the game clock, Wersching kicked the extra point and San Francisco won the game 28–27.
The catch by Clark was coined simply "The Catch", and it put San Francisco into Super Bowl XVI.
San Francisco faced the Cincinnati Bengals in Super Bowl XVI. Montana completed 14 of 22 passes for 157 yards with one touchdown.
San Francisco won the game 26–21, and in recognition of his performance, Montana won the Super Bowl Most Valuable Player Award, which he accomplished two more times before he retired.
Montana had a prolific season in 1982. However, the regular season was shortened to nine games when members of the Player's Association went on strike.
Although San Francisco failed to make the playoffs, Montana threw for 2,613 yards and 17 touchdowns during the year. He also set what was then an NFL record with five consecutive 300 yard passing games.
The next year, Montana threw for 3,910 yards and 26 touchdowns in 16 regular season games. The team ended the regular season with a 10-6 record and finished first in the NFC West.
In the divisional playoff game, they faced the Detroit Lions. Yet again, Montana demonstrated his ability to perform well in high-pressure situations.
Despite being out-played in terms of total yardage, the 49ers trailed by just six points as the game neared its conclusion.
However, with 1:23 remaining in regulation, the 49ers offense had the ball at the Lions 14-yard line.
Montana completed a touchdown pass to wide receiver Freddie Solomon, and San Francisco took the lead on the ensuing extra-point.
The victory placed the 49ers in the NFC Championship game against the Washington Redskins. As he had done before, Montana asserted himself late in the game.
The Redskins led 21–0 at the start of the fourth quarter, but Montana helped lead the 49ers back. Aided by three fourth-quarter Montana touchdown passes, the 49ers tied the game at 21.
However, Redskins placekicker Mark Moseley kicked a 25-yard field goal in the waning moments of the game. Despite Montana's efforts, the team lost 24-21.
Though the Miami Dolphins finished the 1972 NFL season with no losses, the regular season at the time comprised only 14 games.
Thus, when the 49ers finished the 1984 NFL season with a 15–1 record, they became the first team to win 15 games in a single season.
Montana again had an excellent season and earned his second consecutive trip to the Pro Bowl. In their first two playoff games, the 49ers defeated the New York Giants and the Chicago Bears by a combined score of 44-10.
In Super Bowl XIX, the 49ers faced the Dolphins, whose quarterback was Dan Marino.
In the game, Montana threw for three touchdowns and completed 24 of 35 passes. He established the Super Bowl record for most yards passing in a single game (331) and supplemented his passing with 59 yards rushing.
The 49ers defeated the Dolphins 38-16 and Montana earned his second Super Bowl MVP award. After the game, 49ers head coach Bill Walsh said: "Joe Montana is the greatest quarterback today, maybe the greatest quarterback of all time."
Aided in part by Montana's performance at quarterback, the 49ers advanced to NFL Playoffs again in 1985; however, they lost in the NFC Wild card game to the NY Giants.
In 1986, Montana suffered a severe back injury during week two of the season. The injury was so severe that Montana's doctors suggested that Montana retire.
On September 15, 1986, the 49ers placed Montana on the injured reserve list; however, he returned to the team on November 6 of that year.
Despite the fact that Montana appeared in just eight games, and, though he threw more interceptions than touchdown passes for the only time in his career, the 49ers finished the season with a record of 10–5–1.
In 1987, Montana had 31 touchdown passes, a career high, in just 13 games. In 1987, he also set the NFL record for most consecutive pass attempts without an incomplete pass (22), passed for 3,054 yards, and had a passer rating of 102.1.
Though the 49ers finished with the best record in the NFL, they lost in the NFC semi-finals to the Minnesota Vikings.
Prior to the 1987 season, Bill Walsh completed a trade for Steve Young, then a quarterback with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Young went on to appear in eight regular season games for the team and finished the year with a passer rating of 120.8.
Young's performance in 1987 was strong enough that by the time the 1988 season began, a controversy was in place as to who should get more playing time at quarterback.
Young appeared in 11 games that year and rumors surfaced claiming that Montana might be traded.
Despite the competition for playing time, Montana received most of the playing time during the 1988 season.
After a home loss to the Los Angeles Raiders that left the 49ers with a 6–5 record, the 49ers were in danger of missing the playoffs.
Montana regained the starting position and led the 49ers to a 10-6 record and the NFC Western Division title.
The 49ers earned a trip to Super Bowl XXIII when they defeated Minnesota Vikings and Chicago Bears in the playoffs.
The 49ers faced the Minnesota Vikings in the NFC Divisional Playoffs. Montana threw three first-half touchdowns as the 49ers won 34-9.
The victory over the Bears in the NFC Championship game is of particular note. Playing in Chicago, with temperatures in the single digits and a strong wind blowing across Soldier Field, Montana threw for 288 yards and 3 touchdowns.
His first touchdown pass came on a play in which Montana threw a perfect sideline pass to Jerry Rice on a 3rd down play late in the first quarter, and Rice outran two Bears defenders for a 61-yard score.
The 49ers won 28-3 to advance to Super Bowl XXIII.
In January 1989, the 49ers once again faced the Bengals in the Super Bowl. Of his third trip to the Super Bowl, Montana told the San Jose Mercury News: "This trip to the Super Bowl is more gratifying than the others because the road has been harder."
Then, in Super Bowl XXIII, Montana had one of the best performances of his career. He completed 23 of 36 passes for a Super Bowl record 357 yards and two touchdowns.
Despite his great performance, the 49ers found themselves trailing the Cincinnati Bengals 16-13 with only 3:10 left in the game and the ball on their own 8-yard line.
But Montana calmly drove them down the field, completing 8 of 9 passes for 87 yards and throwing the game-winning touchdown pass to John Taylor with only 34 seconds left.
1989 proved to be successful for Montana and the 49ers. The team finished the season with an NFL-best 14–2 record, and their two losses were by a total of only five points.
Montana threw for 3,521 yards and 26 touchdowns, with only 8 interceptions, giving him what was then the highest single-season passer rating in NFL history, a mark subsequently broken by Young in 1994.
He also rushed for 227 yards and three touchdowns on the ground, and earned the NFL Most Valuable Player Award. In a memorable comeback win in week 4 against the Philadelphia Eagles, Montana threw four touchdown passes in the 4th quarter.
He finished with 428 yards passing and five touchdown passes in the victory. The 49ers were successful in the playoffs, easily beating the Minnesota Vikings 41–13 and the Los Angeles Rams 30-3.
Montana threw for a total of 503 yards and 6 touchdowns in those 2 games, without a single interception.
Then, in Super Bowl XXIV, Montana became the first player (and to date, the only player) ever to win Super Bowl MVP honors for a third time, throwing for 297 yards and a then Super Bowl record five touchdowns, while also rushing for 15 yards as the 49ers defeated the Denver Broncos 55-10, the most lopsided score in Super Bowl history.
In 1990, Montana once again led the 49ers to the best record (14–2) in the NFL. He was named by Sports Illustrated as Sportsman of the Year.
A highlight from the season was a rematch with the Atlanta Falcons. Intent on blitzing Montana most of the game, Atlanta's defense allowed Montana to throw for a career-best 476 yards (49ers single-game record) and six touchdown passes, five of them to Jerry Rice.
He would end up throwing for 3,944 yards and 26 touchdowns while also throwing a career high 16 interceptions.
Injured after getting hit by Leonard Marshall during the NFC Championship Game in January 1991, Montana missed the entire 1991 season and most of the 1992 season with an elbow injury (he did appear in a Monday Night Football game vs. Detroit Lions at the end of the '92 season, and was very effective).
However, by this point, Young had replaced him as the starting quarterback.
Following an injury to Montana in the 1990 playoffs which forced him to miss the entire 1991 season, Young got his chance to lead the 49ers. It was a rough start for Young.
Midway through the season, the 49ers found themselves struggling with a 4–4 record.
In the ninth game of the season, after throwing a franchise record 97-yard touchdown pass to Taylor, Young suffered a knee injury and was replaced by backup quarterback Steve Bono.
After a loss in that game, Bono led the 49ers to five consecutive victories, playing so well that coach George Seifert decided to keep him in the starting lineup after Young had recovered.
It wasn't until the 15th game of the season that Young got to play again, after Bono went down with an injury of his own. Young finished the game by leading the 49ers to victory and then closed out the season by throwing for 338 yards and three touchdowns and also rushing for 63 yards and another touchdown in a 52–14 win over the Chicago Bears on Monday Night Football at Candlestick Park.
Young finished the season with an NFL best 101.8 passer rating.
Despite missing five full games and most of a sixth, he still threw for 2,517 yards and 17 touchdowns with only 8 interceptions.
But despite Young's strong season, the season for the team was widely regarded as a disappointment.
The 49ers had slipped from a 14–2 record in the previous season to a 10–6 record in 1991.
While 10 wins is usually enough to make the playoffs, this time it wasn't, and San Francisco ended up not playing in the postseason for the first time since 1982.
It was thought by many that Young's days as the 49ers starter were numbered due to the impending return of Montana from the injury to his right elbow, and some observers said the 49ers should trade Young and keep Montana and Bono.
However, this wasn't the case.
By the start of the 1992 season, it appeared that Young's starting job was in serious peril. In addition to having to compete with Bono, Montana appeared to be close to recovering from his injury caused by the 1990 playoff game.
San Francisco came close to trading Young to the Los Angeles Raiders, but no deal was finalized and it turned out that Montana would not recover in time to start in the opening game.
Young ended up as San Francisco's starting quarterback, but once again got off to a rough start. On the fifth play of the opening game, he suffered a concussion and was replaced by Bono, who threw two touchdown passes while leading the 49ers to a 31–14 win.
The following week, San Francisco lost 34–31 to the Buffalo Bills, despite a career high 449 passing yards and three touchdowns from Young, in a game that featured a rarity; zero punts from either team.
However, Young recovered and led the 49ers on a five game winning streak, capped off by a 56-17 win over the Atlanta Falcons in which Young passed for 399 yards and three touchdowns.
After missing most of the next game (a 24-14 loss to the Cardinals) with the flu, Young led San Francisco to victory in all of their remaining games of the season, giving the team a 14–2 record.
Young finished the season with 3,456 passing yards and 537 rushing yards, along with an NFL best 25 touchdown passes and 107.0 passer rating, earning him the Most Valuable Player award.
Young was the first quarterback ever to record a triple digit rating in consecutive seasons. Many credit Young's turnaround to the arrival of then 49ers Offensive Coordinator Mike Shanahan, who mentored Young just as he did John Elway in the years before.
Shanahan worked with Young on combining his running skill with on-the-move passing decisions.
He went on to throw for 227 yards and 2 touchdowns, and rush for 73 yards, in a 20–13 divisional playoff win over the Washington Redskins before losing the NFC title game 30–20 against the eventual Super Bowl champion Dallas Cowboys
Despite the disappointment, Young was selected to the Pro Bowl for the first time.
Young's performance was so impressive that before the start of the 1993 season, San Francisco traded Montana to the Kansas City Chiefs.
Young was now the 49ers' undisputed starter, and would remain so for the rest of his career. But once again, he had a rough start to the season.
Over the first four games of 1993, Young, who was hindered by a swollen thumb on his throwing hand, threw eight interceptions, more than he had thrown during the entire 1992 season.
But after his thumb healed, Young went on an incredible streak over a span of seven games, throwing 16 touchdown passes with only 2 interceptions and a 122.2 passer rating.
By the end of the year, Young set franchise records for most passing yards (4,023), and consecutive passes thrown without an interception (189), while leading the NFL in touchdown passes (29) and passer rating (101.5).
The team slipped to a 10–6 record, but advanced to the NFC championship game again by blowing out the New York Giants 44–3 in the divisional round.
However, once again they were defeated by the Dallas Cowboys, this time 38–21.
After several key free agent signings including All-Pro cornerback Deion Sanders and NFL Draft selections, the 49ers looked to win their first Super Bowl since 1989.
They started fast, beating the Los Angeles Raiders 44–14 on the strength of four touchdown passes from Young, one of four games during the regular season in which he had at least four.
After a loss in a much anticipated game to Joe Montana and the Kansas City Chiefs, the 49ers won their next two games before losing to the Philadelphia Eagles 40–8 at Candlestick Park, a game in which Young was eventually benched in the middle of an offensive series.
Although head coach George Seifert later said he only pulled Young because he was getting manhandled by the Eagles' defense, Young had had enough of being scapegoated for 49er shortfalls and loudly (and visibly) lambasted Seifert over his decision. But the game was considered a turning point in the season; from there, Young led the team to wins in 10 of their last 11 games and they finished an NFL best 13–3, securing home field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs.
The 49ers had the number one offense in the NFL, and were so dominant that Seifert often took Young out of games early if he felt that the 49ers had an insurmountable lead at the time.
After an easy 44-15 victory over the Chicago Bears in the first round of the playoffs, the 49ers jumped out to a 31-14 halftime lead over the Dallas Cowboys in the NFC Championship Game, holding on to win 38-28 as Young threw for two touchdowns and added 47 yards and another touchdown on the ground.
As a result, Young would head to his first Super Bowl as a starting quarterback. The 49ers were heavy favorites to become the first team with five Super Bowl victories.
On the strength of a six touchdown performance that surpassed the previous Super Bowl record of five, owned by the man Young replaced, Joe Montana, Steve Young was named the MVP of Super Bowl XXIX as the 49ers defeated the San Diego Chargers 49-26.
Young also threw for 325 yards and rushed for 49 yards, making him the first player ever to finish a Super Bowl as the game's leader in both rushing and passing yards.
The victory capped off an incredible year for Young, who had one of the best seasons by a quarterback in NFL history.
He threw for 3,969 yards, a then franchise record 35 touchdown passes with only 10 interceptions, completed a franchise record 70.28 percent of his passes, and broke Montana's single season mark with a then record 112.8 passer rating.
He was named NFL MVP for the second time.
In the three years following Super Bowl XXIX, the 49ers would be eliminated each year by Brett Favre and the Green Bay Packers, twice in San Francisco.
However, in 1998, Young would finally beat Favre in the NFC wild card game, as he threw the winning touchdown to wide receiver Terrell Owens with three seconds remaining to win the game 30–27.
In deference to Dwight Clark's legendary catch against the Dallas Cowboys in the 1981 NFC championship game, Owens' grab was called "The Catch II."
However, a week later, the 49ers were defeated by the Atlanta Falcons 20-18 in the divisional playoffs. Over that span of seasons from 1995 to 1998, Young led the NFL in passer rating twice (in 1996 and 1997), and led the NFL with a career high 36 touchdown passes in 1998.
The 1999 season would turn out to be Steve Young's last. Young was plagued by concussions throughout his career; officially, Young had suffered seven concussions, but many believe the number to be higher. During a Week 3 Monday Night Football game against the Arizona Cardinals, Young was violently sacked by Cardinals' cornerback Aeneas Williams due to a missed blocking assignment by 49ers' running back Lawrence Phillips.
Young was knocked out of the game and did not return to that game, or any game the rest of the season, suffering from symptoms of post-concussion syndrome. Young was forced to retire at the end of the season.
Though he did not become the 49ers' starter until his 8th NFL season, and though he played a full season only 3 times during his 15-year career, Young compiled impressive career numbers.
He completed 2,667 of 4,149 passes for 33,124 yards and 232 touchdowns, with 107 interceptions. His 96.8 career passer rating is the highest in NFL history; his 4,239 rushing yards are the second most ever gained by a quarterback, behind Randall Cunningham.
Bono was selected by the Minnesota Vikings in the 1985 NFL Draft. He was the third quarterback selected in the draft behind Randall Cunningham and Frank Reich.
In his first two seasons with the Vikings (1985-1986), Bono appeared in two games. He spent both seasons third on the depth chart behind starter Tommy Kramer and his backup Wade Wilson.
At the end of the 1986 season, the Vikings placed Bono on waivers. He then signed as a free agent with the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Bono appeared in five games over two seasons with the Steelers (1987-1988). He made his first NFL start on October 4, 1987 against the Atlanta Falcons.
After the 1988 season, the Steelers allowed Bono to become a free agent.
On June 13, 1989, Bono signed a contract with the San Francisco 49ers where he remained for five seasons (1989-1993), his longest stay with one team in his career.
Bono spent the 1989 and 1990 seasons as the 49ers' third-string quarterback behind Joe Montana and Steve Young. In 1991, with Montana lost for the season, and Steve Young injured mid-season, Bono started six games.
He went 5-1 as a starter and finished the season fourth in passer rating behind Young, Jim Kelly, and Mark Rypien.
Bono returned to his backup role behind Young in 1992 and 1993.
Prior to the 1994 season, the 49ers traded Bono to the Kansas City Chiefs, where once again he served as a backup to Joe Montana.
After Joe Montana retired, Bono became the starting quarterback in 1995. On October 1, 1995, in a game against the Arizona Cardinals, Bono ran 76 yards for a touchdown, the longest scoring run by a quarterback in NFL history up to that time .
In the same season, he guided the Chiefs to a 13-3 record and a division title. At season's end, he was selected for the AFC Pro Bowl team. Bono remained the Chiefs starter throughout the 1996 season.
In 1997, Kansas City opted to hand the starting QB role to Elvis Grbac and released Bono.
He signed as a free agent with the Green Bay Packers to back up Brett Favre. Bono spent 1998 with the St. Louis Rams, battling with then-starting QB Tony Banks for playing time, and 1999 backing up Carolina Panthers starting quarterback Steve Beuerlein.
Grbac was drafted in the eighth round of the 1993 NFL Draft by the 49ers. He served as Steve Young's backup from 1994 to 1996.
In 1997, Grbac signed with the Kansas City Chiefs to be their starting quarterback. His best season statistically came in 2000 when he passed for 4,169 yards and 28 touchdowns with a passer rating of 89.9 en route to the Pro Bowl.
Grbac also played for the Baltimore Ravens before unexpectedly retiring in 2001 when the Ravens cut him in a salary cap move after he refused to renegotiate his contract.
Grbac retired because he did not want to uproot his family again to move to another city. Many speculated he retired in part because of the treatment he received by the Baltimore fans and press.
At the time of his retirement, Grbac had been in negotiations with the Denver Broncos—Denver was interested in signing him as a backup to starting quarterback Brian Griese, but Grbac opted for retirement.
The Baltimore Ravens were defending Super Bowl champions when Grbac replaced quarterback & fan favorite Trent Dilfer at the start of the 2001 season. Grbac posted mediocre passing statistics that year, but still managed to lead the Ravens to a 10-6 regular season record and a playoff win over the Miami Dolphins before losing in the second round to the Pittsburgh Steelers.
During the season, he was viciously taunted by the fans and harshly criticized by the Baltimore press, who felt that the team should have kept Dilfer as the starter.
When Grbac was injured midway through the season and replaced by backup Randall Cunningham, the critical taunt "Elvis has left the building" was used.
Grbac was jeered upon his return to the lineup after Cunningham went 2-0 as a starter.
Druckenmiller was drafted in the first round (26th overall) of the 1997 NFL Draft by the San Francisco 49ers.
He played in only six games, completing 21 of 52 pass attempts while throwing only one touchdown pass and four interceptions.
Following this unsuccessful stint in San Francisco, he was traded to the Miami Dolphins and subsequently released.
In 2001, he saw limited action as a backup with the Arena Football League's Los Angeles Avengers.
He also played for the Memphis Maniax of the XFL in Memphis, TN in 2001. He attempted a comeback with the Colts in 2003, but failed to stick. He now works for ChoicePoint, as a salesman, in their office in Memphis, TN.
Druckenmiller's claim to fame was that he had an extremely strong arm that could throw a football over 100 yards.
Harold Rogers selected him in the 1997 NFL Draft and says this is inaccurate. Despite this, it was eventually shown that he lacked the accuracy to be an NFL-caliber passer.
Following the Grey Cup victory, Garcia was signed as a backup to Steve Young with the San Francisco 49ers of the National Football League.
Over the summer, he had been fighting for a spot on the roster, but early in the 1999 season, Steve Young was sacked by Aeneas Williams and suffered his final professional concussion, knocking him out for the year.
Garcia stepped in and shared time with former Stanford quarterback Steve Stenstrom finishing the season.
The following season, with Young retired, Garcia kept the starting quarterback position and made his first Pro Bowl appearance.
He set a new 49ers' team record with 4,278 passing yards in the 2000 season, although the team finished with a 6-10 record. In both of the next two seasons, the 49ers went to the playoffs.
Garcia had 31 and 32 passing touchdowns in the 2000 and 2001 seasons (respectively), more than any other quarterback over those two seasons. Garcia went to the Pro Bowl in three consecutive seasons (2000-2002).
On January 5, 2003, during the 2002-2003 playoffs, Garcia led the 49ers' to a comeback win over the New York Giants, the second largest comeback victory in NFL playoff history.
In the game's third quarter, the Giants were up 38-14, with about 18 minutes left to play. Once the 49ers regained possession of the ball, they began a comeback that saw 25 unanswered points, with San Francisco taking a 39-38 lead.
The Giants lost an opportunity to retake the lead after a controversial call, and the improbable victory became the signature game of Garcia's 49er career. He threw for 331 yards, 3 touchdowns, 1 interception, and also ran for 60 yards and 1 touchdown.
Garcia's favorite target while with the 49ers was Terrell Owens. Although the two made the pro bowl together in 2000, they had a rocky off field relationship.
Following a disappointing 2003 season, in which Garcia performed at a sub-par level, the 3-time Pro Bowler was released by the 49ers due to a decline in performance and salary cap issues.
Shortly after his release, on January 14, 2004, Garcia was arrested for a drunk driving violation in San Jose by the San Jose State University Police Department after attending a San Jose Sharks game
Tim Rattay entered the league as the seventh-round pick (212th overall) of the San Francisco 49ers in the 2000 NFL Draft.
Rattay was a backup to longtime San Francisco quarterback Jeff Garcia. When Garcia was released from the team, largely due to salary cap constraints, Rattay was given the starting job.
On October 18, 2005, Rattay was acquired by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for 6th round 2006 NFL Draft pick from the San Francisco 49ers.
This trade has been criticized by many, including former NFL quarterback Terry Bradshaw
Late in the 2006 season, Rattay stepped in as the starting quarterback for the Buccaneers due to the poor play of Bruce Gradkowski.
In the week 15 game against the Chicago Bears, he entered the game with Tampa Bay losing 14-3.
Due to his strong performance, Tampa Bay tied the game at 31, but they eventually lost in overtime 34-31.
This performance led coach Jon Gruden to name Rattay as the team's third starting quarterback in the 2006 season.
On May 9, 2007, Tim signed as a free agent with the Tennessee Titans. The following month Gruden would name Jeff Garcia Rattay's successor as the Buccaneers' starting quarterback.
On September 1, 2007 the Titans released him.
On October 9, 2007, Rattay signed a one year contract with the Arizona Cardinals as a backup to Kurt Warner, following a season-ending collarbone injury to starting quarterback Matt Leinart.
Rattay would replace Warner in goal-line situations, where he went 3 for 3 with all 3 being touchdowns.
In September of 2008, there were rumors that the New England Patriots considered signing Rattay after Tom Brady was lost for the entire 2008 season.
In the 2000 NFL draft, the Patriots considered drafting Rattay but opted for Brady instead. The Patroits brought Rattay to Foxboro along with Chris Simms, but once they arrived, they were told that the situation had changed and they weren't needed.
A month later, Rattay worked out with the Detroit Lions, but never made an offer to him.
To date, in 37 games, including 18 starts, Rattay has completed 429-of-711 passes in his career for 4,848 yards with 31 touchdowns and 23 interceptions for a passer rating of 80.4.
Despite a strong college career, Dorsey was selected in the 7th round (pick 241) of the 2003 NFL Draft by the San Francisco 49ers.
In his first two seasons in the NFL, he played in nine games (starting in seven), completing 171 of his 316 pass attempts, and throwing for 1,712 yards and eight touchdowns with eleven interceptions.
He has a career passer rating of 63.5. He started the season as the third QB behind Tim Rattay and No. 1 pick Alex Smith, moving into the backup role after the trade of Tim Rattay to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
He went on to start three games for the injured Alex Smith.
In a week 11 game against the Seattle Seahawks, Dorsey led an inspired comeback and was a 2-point conversion away from sending the week 11 game into overtime
In May 2006, Dilfer was traded to the San Francisco 49ers to serve as a mentor to the 2005 first round draft pick Alex Smith.
In return, the 49ers gave the Browns Ken Dorsey and a 7th round pick in the 2007 NFL Draft. A close friend of former 49ers quarterback John Brodie, Dilfer received permission from Brodie and the 49ers to wear his retired number 12 in support of Brodie eventually going into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
It marked the first time Dilfer wore No. 12 since his days with the Buccaneers.
On September 30, 2007, Dilfer took over from Alex Smith following Smith's grade three shoulder separation.
He would go on to start for the 49ers in games against the Seahawks, Ravens and Giants before conceding the starting back to Smith.
However with Smith's effectiveness in question coming back from injury, coach Mike Nolan announced on November 14, 2007 that Dilfer would be the starting quarterback.
Dilfer would go on to start in games against the Rams, in victory over the Cardinals in overtime, and against the Panthers
On December 9 in a home game against the Vikings, Dilfer suffered a head injury resulting in a concussion whilst diving for a 1st down on 4th and 2 that took him out of the game and subsequently the season. He was succeeded by third string backup Shaun Hill.
On March 13, 2008, the 49ers released Dilfer.
Weinke was selected by the Carolina Panthers in the fourth round (106th overall pick) of the 2001 NFL Draft.
In 2001, he was the starter when the Carolina Panthers went 1-15 (Won season opener, lost 15 straight).
On October 16, 2005, Weinke saw his first action since the 2002 season when starter Jake Delhomme went down with an injury against the Detroit Lions.
Weinke threw a touchdown pass to wide receiver Ricky Proehl, giving the Panthers the 21–20 win over the Lions. He re-signed with Carolina during the 2006 off-season. He then continued to back up Delhomme.
On December 10, 2006, against the New York Giants, Weinke made his first start since 2002 in place of an injured Delhomme.
The Panthers lost the game, but Weinke threw for 423 yards, topping the previous single-game team record of 373 set by his predecessor, Steve Beuerlein.
Weinke won his next start which was his second professional win. Weinke holds the NFL record for most consecutive losses by a quarterback in a season, at 14, as well as overall, at 17.
The San Francisco 49ers signed Weinke on December 12, 2007 after injuries to quarterbacks Alex Smith and Trent Dilfer.
He started the final game of the 2007 season for the 49ers in a loss to the Cleveland Browns. Chris has a career record of 2–18 as a starting quarterback in the NFL. Weinke was not brought back to San Francisco for the 2008 season.
Weinke also worked out for the Minnesota Vikings early in the 2007 season after an injury to Tarvaris Jackson. He lost the spot to Koy Detmer, who was promptly cut himself just 5 days after signing.
At the NFL combine, Smith recorded a 4.7 time in the 40-yard dash, benched 335 pounds and had a 31-inch vertical leap. He also earned a score of 40 out of 50 on the Wonderlic exam.
Smith was the first overall pick in the 2005 NFL Draft, selected by the San Francisco 49ers. In July 2005, Smith agreed to a six-year, $49.5 million contract with the 49ers; the contract includes $24 million in guaranteed money.
Smith played in nine games in his rookie season, recording just one touchdown pass while throwing 11 interceptions.
After the challenges faced by his rookie campaign, Smith went into the 2006 season with a new offensive coordinator (Norv Turner) and an improved set of offensive weapons around him.
The 49ers used their top draft choice on Vernon Davis, a playmaking tight end from Maryland. They also upgraded their offensive backfield, trading underachieving running back Kevan Barlow to the Jets, making Frank Gore the feature back.
Smith also spent the offseason working daily with his new coordinator, wide receivers and tight end, while working to improve his technique and add bulk.
The improved offensive cast clearly helped Smith develop in his second year, especially early. Smith's first three games of the season saw him throw three touchdowns, no interceptions, and amass 814 yards.
After struggling in Kansas City, he then threw for three touchdowns against the Oakland Raiders, setting a career high.
The next five games saw Smith resume his struggles, averaging only 153 yards per game while throwing only six touchdowns and nine interceptions. Despite his difficulty, he led the 49ers on a three-game winning streak in November.
However, after difficult losses to the St. Louis Rams and New Orleans Saints, Smith's poor play began to be viewed as holding the team back.
Smith met Joe Montana for the first time on November 5, 2006, during a game against the Vikings. The 49ers wore the throwback jerseys of the 1989 team which Joe Montana and teammates wore.
The 49ers went on to win 9-3, upsetting the Minnesota Vikings.
In need of a statement game, the 49ers traveled to Seattle for a Thursday Night Football game against their division rivals.
During the broadcast on NFL Network, Cris Collinsworth noted that were he starting an NFL franchise, he had take the Broncos rookie quarterback Jay Cutler before Alex Smith and fellow rookies Matt Leinart and Vince Young—and that Smith was not even close to the others.
Going into the 4th quarter, the 49ers were trailing the Seahawks 7-3, and pulling out a win looked unlikely. Smith however performed brilliantly in the fourth quarter, and drove the 49ers on a long touchdown drive down the field early, taking a narrow 10-7 lead.
Late in the quarter, with the same score, Smith struck again—shaking off an almost certain sack, rolling to the left and completing a pass to Frank Gore for a touchdown to give the 49ers a 10-point lead.
On the next drive, Smith cemented the victory by leading yet another touchdown drive, and rushing for a touchdown on a naked bootleg. Collinsworth had earlier in the game observed that "Alex Smith is the best I've ever seen him.
That drive is the best I saw," and on seeing his touchdown run, commented that that was "What a second-half he has had!"
After losing to the Cardinals the following week, the 49ers final game of the 2006 season was against a Denver Broncos team looking for a playoff berth.
In a major upset, the 49ers defeated the Broncos and knocked them out of the playoffs. During the game at INVESCO Field, Smith threw for 194 yards and a touchdown, leading the team to a come from behind victory for the second time in three weeks.
Overall, Smith improved in his second year by throwing as many touchdowns as interceptions. He threw for 16 TDs, 16 interceptions, 2,890 yards and a 74.8 quarterback rating, all improvements over his rookie year.
Smith entered the 2007 season learning under a third offensive coordinator in three seasons. Norv Turner was hired as the head coach by the San Diego Chargers.
Jim Hostler replaced Turner, Hostler's system is a mixture of the offensive system installed by Turner with elements of the West Coast offense installed by Mike McCarthy for the 2005 season.
During the offseason, the 49ers added wide receivers Darrell Jackson, Ashley Lelie, and rookie Jason Hill as new offensive weapons for Smith.
In the season opener on Monday Night Football against the Arizona Cardinals, Smith led the 49ers to a 20-17 win in a two-minute comeback.
While down 17-13 with less than two-minutes left, Smith drove down the field, highlighted by a 25-yard scramble.
After the scramble, he threw a 22 yard pass to Arnaz Battle that was fumbled on the one-yard line, but recovered by a 49er so the ball was placed back on the one-yard line with 26 seconds left.
The following play Battle ran an end around for the game-winning touchdown. Smith finished the game 15 for 31 with 126 yards and two rushes for 37 yards.
On September 30 in the first quarter of a game against the Seattle Seahawks, Smith injured his right shoulder after getting sacked by Seahawks defensive tackle Rocky Bernard.
Smith suffered a grade-three separation and the initial diagnosis is that surgery would not be required. Smith missed the next three games before returning to the 49ers' starting lineup on Sunday, October 28, 2007.
The 49ers did not win a game again until November 25. Among all NFL quarterbacks who qualify for league statistics, only the Jets' Kellen Clemens had a poorer passer rating than Smith (57.2), Smith completed under 50% of his passes, far below the league average of 60%.
Smith was at odds with 49ers head coach Mike Nolan over the severity of his injury. Nolan believed that Smith was healthy enough to play while Smith felt that the injury still affected his ability to throw accurately.
Nolan decided to rest Smith following a loss to the Seahawks on November 12 and start Trent Dilfer to allow Smith's shoulder to recover.
Upon further examination following the decision, according to orthopedic surgeon James Andrews, the shoulder did not significantly heal as Andrews thought it would.
Smith would not play again in the 2007 season. On December 11, 2007, Smith was placed on injured reserve to undergo surgery on the shoulder.
Smith entered Training Camp competing for the starting quarterback job with Shaun Hill, who won both of the games he started in 2007, before suffering a back injury against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and J.T. O'Sullivan.
Smith will be learning under a fourth different offensive coordinator in four seasons; Jim Hostler was fired and replaced by former Detroit Lions offensive coordinator and St. Louis Rams offensive coordinator/head coach Mike Martz.
Smith was announced as the 2nd string quarterback for the 49ers' initial preseason game on August 8 against the Oakland Raiders, behind O'Sullivan, who was elevated to starting quarterback partly due to his familiarity with Martz's offense when he was playing for the Detroit Lions.
Smith threw five of nine for 51 yards. He again started as the second string quarterback in the August 16 preseason game against the Green Bay Packers which the 49ers won 34 to 6.
O'Sullivan was starting quarterback against the Chicago Bears on August 21 in the third preseason game, where he performed extremely well, throwing 7 of 8 passes for 156 yards and a touchdown.
Smith threw 6 of 17 for 83 yards and a touchdown.
On August 22, 49ers head coach Mike Nolan announced that J. T. O'Sullivan, who had competed with Smith and Hill, would replace Smith as the 49ers' first-string quarterback for Week 1 of the 2008 season.
This decision led former NFL coach Jim Mora to call Smith a "bust," and argue that the 49ers should not have drafted him as the first overall pick in the 2005 NFL Draft.
On September 10, the 49ers placed Smith on injured reserve after Dr. James Andrews confirmed the team's diagnosis of a broken bone in Smith's shoulder.
Neither Smith nor the 49ers are certain how the injury took place. Regardless, the 49ers' general manager, Scot McCloughan, said that the 49ers expect to release Smith before the 2009 season, when they would owe him a salary of $9,625,000.
After Nolan was fired on October 21, 2008, the 49ers expressed interest in having Smith remain for the 2009 season if he was willing to renegotiate his contract.
On March, 10, 2009, the 49ers announced that Alex Smith's contract had been successfully restructured and that he would stay with the team.
Smith took a considerable paycut to remain with the 49ers, with whom he is under contract for the next two years.
After hiring O'Sullivan's former offensive coordinator Mike Martz, the San Francisco 49ers signed O'Sullivan to a one-year contract on February 29, 2008.
On August 12, 2008, Coach Mike Nolan appeared on KNBR's "Murph and Mac Show" and announced that O'Sullivan had moved into the lead for the 49ers starting quarterback job.
On August 22, 2008, Coach Mike Nolan officially declared O'Sullivan as the starting quarterback for the 49ers 2008 regular season.
After a poor performance against the Seattle Seahawks (2 interceptions, 4 fumbles) on October 26, O'Sullivan was benched and replaced by Shaun Hill.
O'Sullivan led the league in both interceptions and fumbles at the time of his demotion. Hill was named the starting quarterback for the remainder of the season.
Hill was not considered an NFL prospect and so went undrafted in 2002. He ended up signing as a free agent with the Minnesota Vikings, where he spent the season as a 3rd-string backup.
In order to get more experience, Hill spent the Spring of 2003 with the Amsterdam Admirals of NFL Europe, where he led the league in passing yards and tied for second in touchdowns. He took his first career snaps with the Vikings.
Hill entered the 2006 NFL preseason third on the San Francisco 49ers depth chart, behind Trent Dilfer and Alex Smith. He went 15/23 (65.2%) for 162 Yds, no TDs and one INT. He spent the 2006 regular season on the sidelines, taking zero snaps.
Hill completed 13 of 20 passes for 148 yards with one interception in the San Francisco 49ers' 17-13 preseason opening loss to the Denver Broncos on August 16, 2007.
He demonstrated great pocket mobility but had difficulty in the red zone, throwing one interception in his first drive and then nearly throwing an interception at almost the exact same place the second time down the field.
In the last game of the 2007 preseason against the San Diego Chargers, Hill attempted to put the 49ers in field goal range to tie the game.
With 16 seconds left on the clock, he threw two deep balls to his wide receivers but both missed their targets, and the second was intercepted, ending the game with the Chargers ahead, 16–13.
Hill made his 49ers regular-season debut on December 9, 2007, after Trent Dilfer suffered a severe concussion. He completed 22 of 27 pass attempts for 181 yards and one touchdown in a loss to his former team, the Minnesota Vikings.
Despite his excellent statistics, Hill was critical of his performance, adding, "There [are] a lot of things I need to get better at. Some of that is about getting comfortable playing again.
Some things made me want to throw up. Some things, the execution was poor but the results were good on my part. Some things I got away with. The results were better than my execution."
Since Dilfer's injury was serious enough to sideline him for the rest of the season, Hill made his first NFL start on December 15, 2007 in a victory against the Cincinnati Bengals. Hill completed 21 of 28 pass attempts for 197 yards, ran for a touchdown and threw a touchdown. Hill was set to be the starter for the remainder of the 2007 season.
On December 18, 2007, the 49ers announced that they had an interest in re-signing Hill, to provide competition against Alex Smith.
However, the contract extension, along with its negotiations, were dependent on Hill's performance for the rest of the season.
On December 23, 2007, Hill made his second career start, against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He completed 11 of 24 pass attempts for 123 yards and three touchdown passes, to Darrell Jackson, fellow former Terrapin Vernon Davis, and Frank Gore.
The 49ers won 21-19.
Hill suffered a back injury during the week 16 game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, when rookie Gaines Adams hit him after a throw, drawing a 15-yard personal foul.
As a result, Hill was unable to play in week 17 against the Cleveland Browns. Chris Weinke played in his place.
In February 2008, Hill signed a new 3-year contract with the 49ers, with contractual terms not released to the media.
The undrafted Hill competed for the starting job against Alex Smith and J.T. O'Sullivan in training camp and the 2008 preseason.
O'Sullivan ended up getting the job and Hill became the primary backup after Smith was put on injured reserve early in the season.
Hill did not play until 49ers interim head coach Mike Singletary took over on October 27.
After J. T. O'Sullivan committed his second turnover against the Seattle Seahawks that was returned for a touchdown, he was pulled from the lineup and Hill replaced him with solid output: 15 of 23 for 173 yards with one touchdown to Jason Hill and no turnovers, but he could not rescue the 49ers, who lost 34–13.
Despite the loss, Hill was named as Singletary's no. 1 QB for the remainder of the 2008 season. His 2008 starting debut was in week 10, on Monday Night Football against the Arizona Cardinals.
Shortly after the Seahawks game, reports surfaced that Nolan and offensive coordinator Mike Martz allegedly made up stories about Hill having a tired arm in the preseason so that O'Sullivan, who played for Martz when he was offensive coordinator of the Detroit Lions, would win the starting job without a real challenge.
On Monday Night Football against the heavily-favored Arizona Cardinals, Hill delivered a solid performance in the first half.
Hill completed a 31 yard touchdown to Josh Morgan to put the 49ers up 14-3, and then struck later with a 20 yard touchdown to Vernon Davis shortly before half-time.
However, in the second half, Hill threw an interception at a critically bad time to give the Cardinals the 24-29 lead. Hill also threw a second interception on an attempted shovel pass at the Arizona 20 yard line.
Despite this, Shaun Hill drove the 49ers down the field twice, the first with 3:39, and the second with only 1:04 left on the game clock.
Hill's last pass of the game was a completion to Jason Hill to bring the 49ers to the Arizona goal line. Unfortunately, the 49ers were unable to score the game-winning touchdown.
Coincidentally, on Monday Night Football of the 2007 season against the Cardinals, the 49ers drove to the goal line in a similar fashion, and were able to get the game-winning touchdown.
During week 11 of the 2008 NFL season Hill broke his career single-game passing record in yards, in a 35-16 victory over the St. Louis Rams by throwing for 213 yards and 2 touchdowns and running for a third
Hill was awarded NFC Offensive Player of the Week for his excellent performance.
In week 12, Hill got his first 300-yard passing game in a loss to the Dallas Cowboys.
Hill delivered an impressive come-back performance in Week 16 against the Rams. After throwing three interceptions in the first three quarters, 49ers coaches Mike Singletary and Mike Martz were preparing to bench Hill for J.T. O'Sullivan
Hill convinced his coach to leave him the 4th quarter and then drove 80 yards, finishing with a touchdown pass to Isaac Bruce for his 1000th career reception.
Now down 16-10 and under three minutes left on the clock, Hill got the ball back and completed a 48-yard touchdown pass to Josh Morgan.
The 49ers defense intercepted Marc Bulger ending any chance of a Rams comeback and capping Hill's first big come from behind win.
In a week 17 thriller against the Washington Redskins, Hill was showing difficulty, throwing an interception in the first half and no touchdowns.
However, in the fourth quarter, Hill took the lead by completing a 9-yard touchdown pass to Jason Hill.
Later, with the game tied at 24-24, Hill drove down the field with one minute left on the game clock to set up a game-winning Joe Nedney field goal.
With the victory, Hill improved to a 5-3 record on the season, and a 7-3 record as a starter all time.
He finished the season with 13 passing touchdowns, 2 rushing touchdowns, 8 interceptions, 2,046 passing yards, and a 87.5 quarterback rating in 9 games (8 as a starter).
49ers Head Coach Mike Singletary has stated that Hill would be the starting quarterback going into training camp but would compete with former number-one overall draft pick Alex Smith for the regular season starting job.
Hearing that Sanchez is rumred to be the next 49er quarterback hearning they are very interested in him.