If you're just tuning in, the 49ers submitted tenders to restricted free agents Dashon Goldson, Ray McDonald, and Manny Lawson. C.J. Spillman also received a tender as an exclusive-rights free agent, a solid move indeed. We've already went over the reasons as to why each of these four players is important to the team going forward, so that's a discussion for another time. The tenders may end up meaning absolutely nothing under a new collective bargaining agreement (CBA), but as a team, you'll want to cover all your bases.
So why then, did they not tender another restricted free agent in quarterback Troy Smith? With only one signal caller under contract heading into the 2011 season (if we are indeed heading into a 2011 season and not a lengthy lockout), wouldn't it be best if the team did everything they could to strengthen the position while they still can? After all, Matt Maiocco of CSN Bay Area recently noted that a prolonged lockout would affect the 49ers more than any other team.
The short answer is that signing Troy Smith would not strengthen the position when it comes to the 49ers. I know that Niners Nation has a few Smith fans still lingering about, and that's understandable. There's a lot to like about Troy, and it is possible that he signs on somewhere else and sticks, but his entire game is almost the exact opposite of what the 49ers would be looking for in a quarterback for their west coast offense. Troy's ability on the deep ball is admirable, but his decision-making makes it almost a moot point with a 50.3 completion percentage. The only player who was worse in that regard (as Eric Branch notes while I'm typing this up myself) was Arizona's John Skelton.
So yes, I'm saying that David Carr would be a better fit to run the 49ers offense in 2011. If some strenuous set of circumstances were to occur that set up the 49ers with Carr and Smith as the primary options, it would make the most sense for Carr to be that guy, providing Jim Harbaugh and Greg Roman have the time they need to install the offense they want, which again depends on the potential lockout.
As it stands, the 49ers have a little less than nine hours (at the time of posting this) to tender Troy, but I don't see it happening. I don't see them offering him any money in free agency, and while we're at it, I do not at all see them going after Nate Davis, who was just waived by the Seattle Seahawks. That ship has sailed.