San Francisco 49ers: Why Signing David Carr Is "Madness"

Andy BenschSenior Writer IMarch 9, 2010

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - OCTOBER 11:  David Carr #8 of the New York Giants looks on after defeating the Oakland Raiders after their game on October 11, 2009 at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The Giants defeated the Raiders 44-7.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

Are the San Francisco 49ers copying the management style of the San Francisco Giants? Say it ain’t so!

The San Francisco 49ers have made their first free agent signing on Monday by agreeing to terms on a two-year contract with quarterback David Carr.

Signing a veteran player with a mediocre track record is all too familiar to San Francisco fans, but usually these moves aren’t announced by their football team.

However, despite already having three quarterbacks worthy of returning to the roster this upcoming season, the 49ers felt it necessary to sign a fourth.

Why, you may ask? Well, nobody really knows at this point.

All anyone can really say is that the signing can be best described by 49er linebacker Patrick Willis, who stated his opinion on the potential signing earlier this week on his twitter account. Arguably the best linebacker in football had the following to say:

We have 3 qb’s that are better then him.  That’s a waste of his [Carr's] time”

Mr. Willis spoke the truth.

The 49ers do have three quarterbacks better than David Carr.

In fact, of all the positions on the offense, quarterback could have been argued as the position least needed for an upgrade.

Alex Smith should be the clear starter for both his own psyche and for the sake of team continuity. Second year quarterback Nate Davis should be at the very least listed as the No. 2 in order to increase his development, and Shaun Hill can perform as the perfect emergency quarterback.

Carr, on the other hand, is essentially the same quarterback as Smith, except for the fact he is five years older.

The 49ers already have an inconsistent, possible bust of a first overall draft choice at quarterback.

Why bring in another one?

Keeping offensive coordinator Jimmy Raye around was mostly due to the 49ers organization valuing continuity in the offense after having seven different offensive coordinators in the last seven seasons. It’s not like the 49ers kept him around because they had a great offense last year (they ranked 27th in total offense in 2009).

By staying the course with offensive coordinator, it would seem obvious to stay the course with not only the starting quarterback, but all three quarterbacks on the roster because of familiarity with the system and teammates.

Even if Smith still wins the starting job with Carr in the mix, what does Carr’s presence serve as a backup? If Nate Davis truly isn’t ready to take over in case Smith falters, (even though many have agreed with my last article that declared Davis ready enough to play if necessary) the 49ers can go with the proven commodity in Shaun Hill.

Hill doesn’t have to be the No. 2 quarterback on the roster to be an effective quarterback. With blocking and a running game, the veteran journeyman has proved he can win games no matter where he’s originally slated on the depth chart.

As for Carr’s sake, what has he ever proven? Well, he has proved to be an inaccurate passer with mediocre to poor mobility and was a backup to Jake Delhomme and Eli Manning in recent seasons.

Carr has never proved himself to be a winning quarterback, and he will now have to  learn a new system and create new chemistry with unfamiliar teammates.

Reports suggest that Carr’s signing could spell the end of Hill’s days as a 49er. Not only would that be absurd because of what Hill brings to the table, but he is making $1.5 million for a backup quarterback. Why waste that money by releasing him just to sign an even bigger question mark to take his place?

If Carr’s signing means the end of the line for Davis as a 49er quarterback, then San Francisco would be giving up on a promising young player without giving him anywhere near a fair amount of time to develop.

With the 49ers having a 2010 goal of making the postseason, quarterback was one of the least necessary positions to make a change. Is Smith a sure bet to return the 49ers to playoff success? No, but he clearly has the ability to get the team to the playoffs and has earned a chance to do that in the upcoming season.

Yet by bringing in a quarterback like Carr, it just raises more unnecessary questions.

Do the 49ers not have any faith in Smith as a starter?

Nor Davis/Hill as backups?

Will Carr be able to get along with Willis? The face of the 49ers defense basically referred to Carr as nothing but a scrub.

To quote the movie 300 , “This is Madness!”


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