Nate Davis On 49ers' Practice Squad As QB Carousel Goes On

Ted SillanpaaAnalyst ISeptember 7, 2010

Second-year quarterback Nate Davis has signed with the 49ers practice squad.
Second-year quarterback Nate Davis has signed with the 49ers practice squad.Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Nate Davis could still be the San Francisco 49ers potential quarterback of the future, but the organization is intent on winning now and opted to hand the No. 3 job to veteran Troy Smith.

The 49ers released young Davis and signed Smith because they’re concerned about No. 2 quarterback David Carr.

Davis cleared waivers on Wednesday and immediately signed with the 49ers practice squad.

With former No. 1 overall draft pick Alex Smith the undisputed, but largely unproven, starter -- the 49ers are quietly aware that they could need instant options at the position this season.

Davis remains a long-term option and has time to develop on the practice squad. The club could feel that Troy Smith's work as a reserve with the Baltimore Ravens make him more likely to help the team in the weak NFC West if needed this season.

Carr hasn’t necessarily distinguished himself this summer with the 49ers. Smith was in competition for the Baltimore Ravens starting job in 2008, but he became ill in training camp and lost out to then rookie Joe Flacco.

A deal could’ve been made between the apparently promising passer Davis and the organization to make sure that he doesn’t sign with another team as a No. 3 quarterback.

Davis has performed in two seasons worth of exhibition games, and since Troy Smith is entering his fourth year as a career backup.

Many have represented head coach Mike Singletary’s criticism of Davis after what appeared to be a fine performance against the Minnesota Vikings as Singletary saying that Davis isn’t a hard worker.

Davis has a well reported learning problem and Singletary made it clear that the young passer works hard, but needs to work even harder to keep pace with Alex Smith and Carr.

Davis opted to stay with the 49ers, rather than try to begin the long, slow process process of learning a new offensive system with another club.

Finally, Alex Smith is in the final year of his two-year contract and that confirms that the club could face a very uncertain future at the most important postion on the field.

Troy Smith is a strong-armed quarterback, who won the Heisman Trophy at Ohio State. He is only 6-foot, 217 pounds, but has played in 48 NFL games with 78 pass attempts and just one interception.

Flacco has emerged as a solid starting quarterback for the Ravens. They signed former St. Louis Rams starter Marc Bulger to be Flacco’s backup.

Smith was released, according to the Ravens, to make room for an extra position player.

The club signed former Louisville quarterback Hunter Cantwell to the practice squad.

Ted Sillanpaa is a Northern California sports writer and columnist. Reach Ted at