The Alex Smith Watch drama may be entering its final act. Cam Inman reported that Tampa Bay Buccaneers free agent quarterback Josh Johnson indicated the 49ers and Redskins have both been in touch with his agent. Additionally, Johnson said there could be visits with both teams at some point this week.
Although there are some other random free agent quarterbacks on the market, Josh Johnson represents the last significant name that has been linked to the 49ers. Johnson played for Jim Harbaugh at the University of San Diego and has spent much of the last year linked to Harbaugh. Prior to Alex Smith finding some measure of success in 2011, some folks figured Johnson would be a no-doubt 49er in 2012.
Johnson has athleticism and a solid arm, but has never really been able to make an impact in the league. He has been a project from day one and it remains to be seen where he is really at in his development. Some folks are big fans of his, some are indifferent and some don't like it at all. At the end of the day, Jim Harbaugh knows him as well as anybody and is a fan. Of course, Steve Spurrier was a huge fan of Danny Wuerffel and that did not turn out so well.
Even if the 49ers re-sign Alex Smith, Josh Johnson is still a realistic backup option. The 49ers spent all last season with Colin Kaepernick as their primary backup QB. If the team is fully on-board with Kaepernick, one would imagine another season of Smith and Kaepernick. However, where Josh Johnson would fit in for the coming years remains to be seen. It is one more baffling aspect of a story that has received little to no clarity throughout.