As the 49ers training camp finally nears, one of the big questions surrounds an issue that has not changed all that much in recent years: who will be the 49ers quarterback and what can be expected of them. Alex Smith has already indicated he'll be signing a contract as soon as possible, David Carr remains under contract, and the team draft Colin Kaepernick and will hopefully be signing him to a contract shortly.
Yesterday afternoon Steve Young said on ESPN that he thought Matt Hasselbeck could end up in San Francisco. According to Maiocco, Steve Young knows Hasselbeck's agent very well. Chris Mortensen tweeted that Hasselbeck's options seemed to settle on Seattle, San Francisco, and Tennessee.
As the 49ers began their negotiations with undrafted free agents, we didn't see any quarterbacks hopping out with guys like Pat Devlin and Adam Froman indicating interest elsewhere. At the same time I don't know if the lack of QB UDFAs in the 49ers public cross-hairs necessarily correlates with a potential Matt Hasselbeck addition. After all, with the drafting of Colin Kaepernick, I'd imagine any UDFA QB brought in to camp would be looking at the practice squad at best. I suppose we could see Carr cut, Kaepernick as the backup and the UDFA as the third string, but I don't know if I can see Harbaugh going into the 2011 season with no NFL QB experience outside of Smith. Just my own thought.
Tim Kawakami tweeted about the Hasselbeck rumor and linked back to a transcript compiled by Dan Brown following a Camp Alex media sessions. There was a question put to Smith about the 49ers adding a veteran and Hasselbeck was specifically mentioned:
-Q: Would you be disappointed if they brought in a Hasselbeck or someone like him?
-SMITH: I don't know if I'd be disappointed, no. Someone like that, yeah, that ups the competition.
You're talking about a guy like Matt that's had a lot of starts in this league, played in the West Coast a long time, is a really good player. So obviously that would up the competition level, no question.
Although none of the 49ers have had a formal minicamp, Alex Smith and the other quarterbacks have had the playbook since the NFL Draft. Does that really matter for a guy like Hasselbeck? In spite of the injuries he has had a very solid career when healthy and has done some impressive things over the course of his career.. Of course, the "if healthy" is a big, fat if and he'd be at a bit of a disadvantage in regards to the playbook. But maybe in this lockout-shortened offseason that would not in fact make a difference?