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Bears release Connor Shaw, Thad Lewis medically cleared [Update]

The 49ers QB depth chart seems full right now, but John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan have shown they’ll make changes quickly.

Fooch’s update: The Bears decided to NOT waive Connor Shaw.

The San Francisco 49ers completely turned over their quarterback depth chart this offseason. They signed veterans Brian Hoyer and Matt Barkley, drafted C.J. Beathard, and signed UDFA Nick Mullens. They replace a depth chart that at different times included Colin Kaepernick, Blaine Gabbert, Christian Ponder, and Thad Lewis.

The 49ers are entering their second week of OTAs, and continue looking at ways to improve their roster. They are looking at some defensive backs on Tuesday, but at some point will they potentially add more QB depth? Four quarterbacks is likely enough to split up snaps sufficiently, but might they add a fifth, or replace one of their current quarterbacks with another option?

I bring this up because a couple quarterbacks are in the news. NFL Network reporter Ian Rapoport tweeted on Tuesday that the Chicago Bears waived Connor Shaw to make room for wide receiver Victor Cruz. Additionally, Rapoport reported that Thad Lewis was medically cleared for the ACL he tore last August.

Neither quarterback is a starting option, but both could compete for a second or third QB role. Shaw has impressed in the preseason, but injuries each of the last two seasons have prevented him from getting a significant backup opportunity. More notably for 49ers fans, he began his career as a UDFA with the Cleveland Browns in 2014. Kyle Shanahan was offensive coordinator in Cleveland that year. Shaw will go through waivers, and the 49ers have the second spot, so if they want him, they stand an excellent shot of getting him.

Kyle Shanahan has said nobody is guaranteed anything with the 49ers, but there’s a strong chance Brian Hoyer is the starting QB when Week 1 arrives. Additionally, C.J. Beathard will be on the depth chart. Matt Barkley stands a good chance of securing the backup role, while Nick Mullens is competing for no more than a practice squad spot, barring something entirely unexpected.

There is always a chance we see some changes to the 49ers QB depth chart, but for the time being it seems unlikely. Mullens is the least certain to stick around, and if the 49ers think Shaw could compete for a backup role, maybe they bring him in to compete with Barkley.