The San Francisco 49ers have decisions to make surrounding the quarterback position this offseason. It is not a simple matter of player A or player B. They could find options through free agency, through trading, and through the draft. Colin Kaepernick is the team’s only quarterback currently under contract, and he could choose to opt out later this week. More than likely the 49ers will be adding three or four (or more) quarterbacks through various methods.
ESPN’s Mike Sando recently put together a look at eight NFL trades that should happen. He had two trades involving the 49ers, although in reality, only one of them could happen. First, he had the 49ers OR Jets dealing a 2017 sixth round pick to the
Cleveland Browns Chicago Bears for Jay Cutler. Then, he suggested the 49ers trading Arik Armstead and a 2017 sixth round pick for Cincinnati Bengals quarterback AJ McCarron.
Jay Cutler trade (6th round pick)
I do think Cutler brings something to the table, but I’m skeptical this happens. I could see Cutler being interested in working with Kyle Shanahan, but given the 49ers roster issues, I’m not sure if he would want to come to Santa Clara. He has no prorated signing bonus money left, so he could threaten retirement knowing he does not owe the Bears a penny. I think if a 49ers deal seemed likely, we would seem him threaten retirement to either get traded to another team, or to get his release.
One anonymous official had this to say to Sando:
"Someone is going to be enamored with Cutler's talent," a team executive said. "No one wanted him, and then last year , people thought he was back. You will ride the roller coaster with him, but I think someone would trade for him. You are just taking on the salary for a sixth. The Jets paid $12 million for Fitz, so they can pay $16 million for Cutler. If you are Kyle Shanahan, you will take Cutler and maybe you get a couple years. It buys some time."
AJ McCarron trade (Arik Armstead, 6th round pick)
McCarron is considerably younger than Jay Cutler, but also has proven considerably less. There is some upside there, but it’s not exactly flashy talent. Armstead was getting rave reviews in training camp last summer before he injured his shoulder. He played eight games before going on IR, and really he probably should have just spent the whole year on IR. This is not quite like dealing a first with the sixth, but there is plenty of upside to consider.
Would you take either of these? Or pass on both?