How Mike Singletary Has Been Smart with His Quarterbacks

Alec AdamsContributor IMarch 31, 2010

MINNEAPOLIS - SEPTEMBER 27: Shaun Hill #13 of the San Francisco 49ers looks for a receiver against the Minnesota Vikings at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome on September 27, 2009 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Vikings defeated the 49ers 27-24.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Many San Francisco 49ers fans have been arguing with each other about whether Mike Singletary and the front office have done a good job dealing with the team's quarterbacks. It's not about what moves they could make, because they've already made their moves at quarterback. Before you start to argue about that, let me explain.

Potential Starting Quarterback for the 49ers:

1). Donovan McNabb

"I'm always going to use words like "probably" because I like competition. I like guys knowing that they're always going to compete. But I feel very comfortable in saying Alex Smith is our starting quarterback going forward."  

That's what Singletary told the San Francisco Chronicle. And that's why McNabb isn't going to be traded to the Niners. You can say whatever you want, but that sounds like an adamant answer to me.

Besides, this isn't fantasy football. You can't just plug in a new player at quarterback and expect him to put up the same numbers as before from day one. And in this case, it wouldn't be a new player, but a 33-year-old with one year left on his contract.

If the Niners trade a second round pick for him, here's what happens: He spends the year learning the new offense, maybe we make the playoffs, and at the end of the year his contract expires and he signs with the Vikings.

2). Shaun Hill

He was traded to the Lions for a seventh round pick. That was a great move, because with the 49ers, he was the sign of insecurity at quarterback. He's a solid backup and a respectable option as a starter, but he's never going to take a team to the playoffs by himself.

Getting rid of him tells the rest of the league, and the team itself, that Alex Smith is the starting quarterback. There is no temporary option to fall back on if Smith fails. They're also broadcasting a message that they're serious about the playoffs. No mud in the water.

3). Alex Smith

Smith is the 49ers starting quarterback. The team is done playing around with players like J.T. O'Sullivan and Hill. He will have the same offensive coordinator for two years in a row for the first time, which is huge. He had a great second half last year after backing up Hill for six and a half games, coming in for the second half of the week seven game against Texas.

He threw for 200 yards and three TDs in that half. Over that half and the rest of the season he threw for over 2,000 yards. He did throw several picks, but many of those weren't his fault. Some of them just bounced of the receiver's helmet, and you can't blame Smith for that.

Smith is the smart option for 2010. Not the smart option as in the conservative choice, but the best bet. He's been showing a lot of the talent that made him the first overall pick in 2005, and he has the potential to be a top-10 quarterback this year. He threw his first 300 yard game last season, against the Seahawks, and he's only looking up from there. Singletary made the right decision in naming him the starter.

4). David Carr

The Niners signed him to a two year deal. He's going to back up Smith. He was signed because he's a solid backup and nothing more. He signed because Singletary said he would have a chance to compete for the starting job, but in reality he's not going to win it.

5). Nate Davis

He performed well in the preseason last year, but for now he's the third string quarterback. However, he was still a good pick in the 2009 draft. The smart thing to do with Davis is nothing, and that's what the team is doing so far. Davis is solid, but he's not ready or needed to start games in the NFL just yet.

Mike Singletary and the front office have made the right decisions about their quarterbacks: Don't pursue McNabb, trade away Shaun Hill, sign a backup and leave Nate Davis be. Thanks for reading, and please tell me what you think.


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