NFL Cuts: Why San Francisco 49ers Must Sign Quarterback off Free-Agent Scrapheap

Joseph HealyCorrespondent IJanuary 1, 2015

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - AUGUST 26: Dan Orlovsky #6 of the Indianapolis Colts passes the ball during an NFL preseason game against the Green Bay Packers at Lucas Oil Stadium on August 26, 2011 in Indianapolis, Indiana. The Packers won 24-21. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Joe Robbins/Getty Images

When making their final roster cuts ahead of the deadline to get rosters at or below the 53-man limit, the San Francisco 49ers parted ways with veteran quarterback Josh McCown.

While I can't blame them for moving on from McCown, I think they are making a huge mistake by only keeping two quarterbacks on their roster.

If their starter were a Pro Bowl quarterback, you could understand. Surely the roster spot occupied by a third-string quarterback could be used elsewhere.

That's where the problem is. The 49ers have the worst quarterback situation in the league. Starter Alex Smith has been given more chances than you can count to show that he is a solid starting quarterback. Outside of a few flashes, Smith has proved that he is nothing more than a mediocre quarterback at best.

Their backup, Colin Kaepernick, is very talented, but he is a rookie. He's also not just any rookie. He is a rookie that ran the ball as much as he threw it in college as part of an unconventional offense. His acclimation to an NFL offense will take longer than most.

Thanks to the player movement on other squads, there are some decent options to choose from out there.

The best of that group very well might be Trent Edwards, formerly of the Buffalo Bills and Oakland Raiders. Edwards has starting experience and a season where he threw for nearly 2,700 yards under his belt.

At 6'4" and 230 pounds, Edwards hits the size benchmarks you like to see in a passer and he has more than adequate arm strength to make all the throws he has to make.

Another option is Dan Orlovsky. The former Lion and Texan was last seen competing with Curtis Painter to be Peyton Manning's backup in Indianapolis. With Kerry Collins now with the Colts, he wasn't needed.

Like Edwards, Orlovsky has starting experience and more than enough size and arm strength to pass the eye test.

He doesn't have the track record of success that Edwards has, but he would still be a nice safe addition to the 49ers' depth chart.

The 49ers are simply buying time until either Kaepernick or another young quarterback emerges to take over the offense. In the meantime, they have to do everything they can to improve their depth chart. In this case, that includes signing a veteran quarterback looking for work.