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2014 Free Agency: Backup quarterback options for 49ers

The San Francisco 49ers aren't in the market for a starting quarterback, but a backup could be had in free agency.


I hate quarterbacks. I hate them, I hate them, I hate them. I hate them because the San Francisco 49ers had a lot of bad ones in recent years, though I imagine fans of other teams would look at that statement and tell me to shut right up. Yes, a fan of the team that has had both Joe Montana and Steve Young is complaining about quarterback play.

Fortunately, the 49ers now have Colin Kaepernick, and the quarterback position can have some much-needed stability. Kaepernick is far from perfect -- the offense struggled mightily for much of the regular season and Kaepernick made many glaring fundamental mistakes with his decision-making, lack of vision and ball-handling -- but he's got a ton of upside and has already demonstrated an ability to win football games.

But Kaepernick does run the football a lot, and while that's been great for the offense as a whole, he does put himself in danger quite a bit. What happens when he goes down?

Colt McCoy happens.

I'm not sure how you all feel about that, but the 49ers will almost certainly be looking for an upgrade this season. That's why the quarterback free agent market is actually interesting for us. So here's a list of all the pending free agent quarterbacks for 2014:

Michael Vick, Philadelphia Eagles
Chad Henne, Jacksonville Jaguars
Josh Freeman, Minnesota Vikings
Shaun Hill, Detroit Lions
Charlie Whitehurst, San Diego Chargers
David Garrard, New York Jets
Rex Grossman, Washington Redskins
Jon Kitna, Dallas Cowboys
Dan Orlovsky, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Kellen Clemens, St. Louis Rams
Josh McCown, Chicago Bears
Luke McCown, New Orleans Saints
Seneca Wallace, Green Bay Packers
Colt McCoy, San Francisco 49ers
Joe Webb, Minnesota Vikings
Tarvaris Jackson, Seattle Seahawks
Derek Anderson, Carolina Panthers
Brady Quinn, St. Louis Rams
Jimmy Clausen, Carolina Panthers
Jordan Palmer, Chicago Bears
Matt Flynn, Green Bay Packers
Curtis Painter, New York Giants
Rusty Smith, Tennessee Titans

There actually are some intriguing names on that list. Obviously, guys like Michael Vick and Chad Henne aren't up for consideration at this point. Both of them will be looking to sign somewhere they can compete for a starting job, along with Flynn and potentially a few others.

But other than bringing back McCoy, there are some interesting names. The one that jumps out at me is Shaun Hill. Obviously, 49ers fans will be familiar with Hill. I was a big fan of his and the work he did and feel he is one of the most valuable backups in the NFL. He's getting up there in years though and won't be worth a big contract.

San Francisco is going to be looking for a backup to develop now that Kaepernick is well on his way. Hill would be a nice stopgap so the 49ers can find a younger guy to really bring up to speed. That's what I'd like, anyway.

There's a few other potentially interesting names on there as well. Anything catching your eye?