Tom Savage Signs Contract with San Francisco 49ers

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistOctober 16, 2018

New Orleans Saints quarterback Tom Savage looks for a receiver against the Jacksonville Jaguars during the first half of an NFL preseason football game, Thursday, Aug. 9, 2018, in Jacksonville, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)
Phelan M. Ebenhack/Associated Press

Tom Savage is getting another opportunity at the NFL level.

San Francisco 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan confirmed the team had signed the veteran QB on Tuesday.

This comes after his name reappeared in headlines after San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo tore his ACL during a Week 3 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs. ESPN's Jordan Schultz previously noted the team elected to work Savage out in light of the setback to the starter.

Savage, 28, appeared in three preseason games for the New Orleans Saints and threw for 222 yards, zero touchdowns and zero interceptions. He was unable to show the NFC South team enough to keep him on the roster despite previous experience at the NFL level with the Houston Texans.

Houston selected Savage with a fourth-round pick out of the University of Pittsburgh in 2014, and he appeared in 13 total games for the team from 2014 through 2017. He completed just 57.5 percent of his passes for 2,000 yards, five touchdowns and seven interceptions and never established himself as a franchise piece for the team that drafted him.

What's more, the majority of his eight 2017 appearances only came because Deshaun Watson tore his ACL after a torrid start to his rookie campaign.

At this point in his career, Savage is not someone who is going to turn a franchise around or even serve as a season savior. However, he can be a veteran presence for the 49ers and provide depth and injury insurance, just like he did for the Texans following Watson's setback.

Injury insurance is exactly why he's in the Bay Area following Garoppolo's season-ending ACL tear.

The high expectations in San Francisco from the start of the season have been replaced by the somber news of the former Patriots quarterback and running back Jerick McKinnon both being out for the rest of the campaign with ACL tears, and Savage figures to compete for playing time with C.J. Beathard following this signing. Beathard has posted a mediocre 87.3 passer rating since taking over the offense.

Savage is not a franchise centerpiece like Garoppolo, but he at least has some experience as the 49ers look to contend in the NFC West down the stretch.