With the 49ers in dire need of a QB, the time is now for them to strike if they are going to add anyone before the start of the regular season, being that teams just simplified their rosters to 53 today.
Now, don't get me wrong, the list of potential names of guys who got axed certainly aren't exciting and some aren't even proven NFL QB's, but given the 49ers situation, I think any of the following guys would not only be worth a shot, but could succeed with Frank Gore, Vernon Davis, Michael Crabtree and Braylon Edwards.
Of course, everyone has heard the Josh Johnson rumor, so there's no need to mention his name, and we've also mentioned the Raiders backups, Trent Edwards and Kyle Boller, who each would likely pose better options than Alex Smith right now. Guess what, Edwards was the odd man out after the Raiders took Pryor, and he should be atop the 49ers list after Josh McCown failed miserably to do anything. They also still need their O-Line to take shape, but I'm not nearly as worried about that as I am the am the QB situation. The NFC West is pretty thin and the 49ers really are just one decent QB away from really becoming a player in the race. Here are some other team's back-ups that could be out of a roster spot in a week or so, or may be plucked away with a late round draft choice and provide a starter, a challenger, or insurance for Alex Smith and actually give this team a chance to win:
Trent Edwards, FA - He has to become the 49ers immediate #1 target. He's an ideal fit for the west coast offense, plus he's a Stanford guy and knows Harbough. I just see this as too good a fit. If Smith doesn't cut it after 1/4 of the season, you go to Edwards and see what he can do with the 49ers offensive talent. He's a smart guy, and doesn't make too many bad decisions back there like Alex does, but he doesn't quite have the athletic ability and mobility Alex does. Looked to be getting better as starter in Buffalo before they tore the team out from around him and the line went to garbage. I honestly think the 49ers would be a better team with Edwards and knows the WC offense.
Brodie Croyle, FA - He's nowhere near as exciting or as good as Edwards, but he posses a plausible backup and one that would give the team someone better than Colin Kaepernick after Smith. Croyle's never really gotten a shot, but has played well in spurts, and could be one opportunity away from making it big.
Seneca Wallace, Cleveland - Onto possible trade targets, Wallce would be #1. He's always been frowned upon because his sub-6 foot height, but he more than makes up for that with athleticism and play-making ability. All respect to Matt Hasselbeck, I though Wallace was their better QB the last few years he was in Seattle. He's a career backup with an 64 rating and 29/16 TD/INT ratio, who can throw on the move. I'd love to see him be a starter somewhere, but it's doubtful Cleveland lets him go as he's their insurance for McCoy.
Brady Quinn, Denver - Quinn's another guy who's never had any talent around him. He got thrown into the fire in Cleveland with a horrid team and was bad, then never got another look since. He's looked good in training camps and preseason games, but didn't throw a pass last season. With Orton and Tebow in Denver, he could be expendable, but likely has a ceiling as a backup QB.
Josh Johnson, Tampa Bay - OK, everyone has heard his name mentioned this summer, problem is, the Bucs won't get rid of him. Even though Josh Freeman is a potential pro-bowl talent about to enter his prime, the Bucs want Johnson as insurance. Know, if the 49ers saw Johnson as a potential QB of the future and don't believe in Kap, which I do not, they may be willing to give up a 3rd rounder and a young player to get the young QB.
Drew Stanton, Det - Stanton is the wild card, possessing all the talent in the world, a lot like Smith, just never putting it all together. Unlike Smith though, he hasn't had chance after chance fall onto his lap. I was hoping he'd get chopped at the deadline, but even with Shaun Hill entrenched as the #2, Detroit cannot trust Matt Stafford to stay on the field so Stanton wouldn't be cheap.