Yesterday, the 49ers released third string quarterback Nate Davis. They then went ahead and signed free agent quarterback Troy Smith to a one-year contract. It's a pretty straightforward trade-off, I think. The question is, are we better off after this trade? With Troy Smith under contract, are we better off than we were with Nate Davis under contract. It's a simple question, but answering it might be a little bit harder than it seems, and if anything, pretty circumstantial.
Troy Smith is a known commodity in the NFL. Sure, he can probably show more and get a little bit better than he is, and I see the 49ers system being well-suited for him, but it's not out of the question to say that he's reached his ceiling. I think we can say that where he is at now is far above that of Nate Davis, but is it high enough to surpass the potential of Davis?
I think that's where most people will be conflicted. "Well, sure, Smith is better now, but Davis ...," being the best example that comes to mind. But were Davis and his seemingly unlimited potential really going to go anywhere in the NFL? Did he have the drive and mental fortitude to make it in the NFL at its most demanding position in that regard? It's very possible that the coaching staff saw what they needed to and came to the conclusion that Davis would be more trouble than he was worth.
Maybe they just wanted to make an example of him, or maybe they just wanted an upgrade. It's really hard to tell at this point, but I wanted to see, definitively, how people feel about this and whether or not they feel the team is better or worse with the move.
As a side note, I'm tickled pink that our preseason news explodes with bits about our third string quarterback being cut, while our defending division champions and other rivals have so much going on that they're cutting a projected starting quarterback. Feels good, man.