2012 49ers Roster Cuts: The Quarterback Quandry

August 30, 2012; San Francisco, CA, USA; San Francisco 49ers quarterback Josh Johnson (1) carries the ball against the San Diego Chargers during the third quarter at Candlestick Park. The San Francisco 49ers defeated the San Diego Chargers 35-3. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-US PRESSWIRE

Today is the day that many in the NFL will be informed that they'll lose their job...at least for now. Many will look to get opportunities with other teams. Some of those will be short-lived stays as teams will claim players off waivers and shuffle the cards a few more times before week one.

Among those who could be cut today are two of the 49ers backup quarterbacks: Scott Tolzien and Josh Johnson. After the game, Jim Harbaugh didn't rule out keeping four QBs on the roster, but it seems foolish to do that considering one or both of them are highly unlikely to ever see the field in 2012...thus pushing someone else off the roster who could be needed in case of an injury at another position.


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I had thought that Tolzien had the number three QB spot locked up prior to last night's preseason finale, which saw Johnson running and throwing the ball exceptionally well. Tolzien did not have a particularly great night, failing to complete many of his passes and throwing an interception.

Still, it's the body of work coaches will be looking at. I suppose things are fairly balanced at this point so the decision will be hard to predict. Should the 49ers keep both QBs on the roster today, here's an idea what could be up their sleeve:

Trade. Teams with shaky QB situations will be looking for quality backups and I think both of these guys could fill that role (Johnson having already done-so in Tampa for three years). Granted this would still mean somebody gets cut in place of an extra QB on our roster...and that person could end up catching-on elsewhere...so we could be kissing a player good-bye in this scenario, too.

But we could receive a draft pick or a player in return for one of our QBs and that helps for the future. Perhaps we draft a safety to replace Dashon Goldson if he and the team aren't able to get a long-term deal done. Or maybe a dynamic tight end to replace Delanie Walker if he decides to pursue a big contract as a feature player on another team.

Either way, it could be worth getting something rather than just cutting a player who coaches feel can play at a high level.

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