Tom Savage, 49ers Agree to Contract Despite Nick Mullens' Emergence vs. Raiders

Kyle Newport@@KyleNewportFeatured ColumnistNovember 3, 2018

GLENDALE, AZ - OCTOBER 28: Nick Mullens #4, Quarterbacks Coach Rich Scangarello, Tom Savage #12 and C.J. Beathard #3 of the San Francisco 49ers look over plays on the sideline during the game against the Arizona Cardinals at State Farm Stadium on October 28, 2018 in Glendale, Arizona. The Cardinals defeated the 49ers 18-15. (Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images)
Michael Zagaris/Getty Images

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Nick Mullens may have put on a show against the Oakland Raiders in his first career start Thursday night, but that performance didn't stop the team from adding depth at the position.

With C.J. Beathard nursing a wrist injury, though, the team decided to bring in another arm. The club announced Friday it signed veteran Tom Savage to a one-year deal.

Savage signed with the New Orleans Saints as a free agent in March but was released at the end of the preseason. He has been signed by the Niners three times this season.

The 28-year-old Savage is 2-7 in nine career starts, all with the Houston Texans. In 13 career games, he has completed 57.5 percent of his passes for 2,000 yards and five touchdowns with seven interceptions.

Savage has not appeared in a game since Dec. 10, when Houston hosted San Francisco.

For now, it appears as though Savage was brought in as an insurance option in the event Beathard is inactive for Week 10. After all, Mullens stole the show Thursday night.

The undrafted free agent out of Southern Miss completed 16 of 22 pass attempts for 262 yards and three touchdowns with zero interceptions while leading the 49ers to a 34-3 victory over their Bay Area rivals.

Per ESPN's Adam Schefter, it was a record-breaking start for the second-year passer:

Adam Schefter @AdamSchefter

Nick Mullens threw 3 TDs in his NFL debut, leading the 49ers to a season-high 34 points in 34-3 victory over Raiders. He became the first player in 49ers history to throw 3 TDs in his debut His 151.9 passer rating is the highest by any player in his NFL debut since 1970 merger.

Not only that, but Mullens also was just the fourth NFL player over the last 25 seasons to throw three touchdowns in a debut, according to ESPN Stats & Info (h/t ESPN.com's Nick Wagoner).

That performance gave San Francisco coach Kyle Shanahan something to thing about.

"Yeah, definitely we'll consider [making Mullens the starter]," Shanahan said Thursday, according to Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area. "Definitely not thinking about that right now, but our whole team played very well. Nick definitely did."

Mullens was the third starting quarterback for the 49ers (2-7) this season. After receiving a record five-year, $137.5 million deal during the offseason, Jimmy Garoppolo tore his ACL in Week 3. Beathard had started San Francisco's previous five games entering Week 9 but was 0-5.