The San Francisco 49ers signed free agent quarterback Brian Hoyer on Thursday, and will announce a second one as early as Friday. Ian Rapoport reported the team will sign Matt Barkley, and the free agent QB confirmed the news on Twitter this morning.
Barkley started his career with the Philadelphia Eagles, and got his first real playing time last season with the Chicago Bears. In seven games (six starts), Barkley completed 59.7 percent of his passes for 1,611 yards, eight touchdowns, and 14 interceptions. He moved into the starting lineup after Jay Cutler and Brian Hoyer both got hurt. Hoyer started five games in place of Cutler before breaking his forearm.
In a less than stellar free agency class, Pro Football Focus ranked Barkley as the fourth best quarterback option, behind Kirk Cousins, Mike Glennon, and Brian Hoyer. They had this to say about the 26-year old quarterback:
Through Weeks 12–15—his first four starts—Barkley sat behind only Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers and New England’s Tom Brady in terms of overall quarterback grade before recording two poor outings to finish the season. He has shown a considerable uptick in arm strength since entering in NFL in 2013. Barkley’s poise and ability to get through progressions was impressive this past season, but he needs to cut down on the big mistakes that seemed to show up more as the season went on. Barkley’s play solidified him as a solid backup option for years to come, and potentially more if he can cut back on the crucial mistakes.