The San Francisco 49ers were able to successfully claim QB Scott Tolzien off waivers from the San Diego Chargers, but the team has been just as busy in recent days with two more failed waiver efforts. Earlier in the week the 49ers were one of five teams to place a claim for Patriots tight end Lee Smith. More recently they placed a claim on Patriots cornerback Darius Butler but lost out to the Panthers.
Jim Harbaugh and Trent Baalke have made it clear they are always on the lookout for players that can improve the 49ers. The most recent question about this revolved around QB David Garrard. It would not be a waiver claim with Garrard as he has enough accrued years to go directly into free agency. However, we'll likely hear more today about Garrard as he is reportedly getting a couple of contract offers sometime soon.
The claim on a tight end is not all that surprising given that the team has two experienced tight ends and basically Bruce Miller as the third option for now. The team does not seem wildly concerned about it as they do not appear to have pursued the position much further. Maybe they'll see what they can do this Sunday with Miller as the third tight end and take it from there.
The cornerback claim is an interesting one. Darius Butler was a second round pick in the 2009 NFL Draft and is continuing what appears to be a recent trend around the league of getting rid of some high draft picks. The 49ers currently have five cornerbacks heading into Sunday's opener against Seattle Seahawks. Shawntae Spencer was back on the practice field so that's five "healthy" players out there.
Is the attempted Butler claim just an attempt to add a good player regardless of position? Or does the cornerback position need a bit more depth from the free agency/waiver pool? This isn't early top free agency talent we're talking about at this point so there would seem to be a specific interest involved.