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John Lynch talks about whether or not 49ers have 2018 starting QB on their roster

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I think the Week 1 starting QB in 2018 will either be Kirk Cousins or Brian Hoyer.

Last week, San Francisco 49ers general manager John Lynch sat down with Mike Florio on PFT Live to discuss the status of the 49ers, and how the job is going for him thus far.

You can read check out a list of time stamps here, but at the 13:35 mark, Florio asked Lynch about the 49ers quarterback situation. Specifically, he asked how Lynch would respond to people who say the 49ers 2018 Week 1 quarterback isn’t on the roster yet. Here is Lynch’s response:

I’d say, we’ll see. I can tell you that Brian Hoyer is really excited about the opportunity, and he’s really seizing it out there on the practice field. It hasn’t been perfect, but it’s been pretty good. And in the midst of learning a system, he’s been around Kyle for one year — they spent one year together in Cleveland, so they had a leg up. But things are fluid in this league, and Kyle’s developed and evolved as a play-caller, so there’s been some learning curve for him. But he’s looked really well. Matt Barkley has had his moments.

And C.J. Beathard — we said it when we drafted him, in fact that’s the one time Kyle got a little upset with me there in the draft was when we traded to get C.J. Beathard. Because he didn’t want the perception on the kid that this was a kid we’re going to get in the third round. And you know the third round and quarterbacks in San Francisco, Joe Montana, there could be some expectations. But I said, “Who cares about expectation, Kyle. We can explain that. This is a kid we want. He does some things that we really like, and he shows it out here each and every day. And so that fires us up.

So a long-winded answer to your question, we don’t know that yet, but we have committed to be vigorous until we find that guy, you know, what is a franchise quarterback? I think we both have our feelings for what that is. But we’re gonna be vigorous and aggressive to find that guy, and hopefully one of these guys takes it and runs with it.

In a separate segment, Lynch explained what the 49ers liked about C.J. Beathard in particular. They like his toughness, ability to get the ball into tight spaces, and his work in a pro style offense. Of course, everyone recognizes he’s a work in progress, and so his long-term future is a big question mark.

Earlier today, we heard that the negotiations between Washington and QB Kirk Cousins are taking on a more positive tone. The 49ers could still end up landing Cousins next offseason, but if they don’t, there are plenty of questions as to who the long-term answer is. Beathard could emerge at some point, the 49ers could take a run at another free agent, or the team could spend a first round pick on one of the big names in next year’s draft.

Right now, my guess is that Kirk Cousins ends up with the 49ers, although I am not prepared to bet on that right now. If that doesn’t happen, I would expect the team to invest more draft capital in the position. I don’t know if it would be a first round pick, but they would go into next year with more than just C.J. Beathard as a development option. One possibility would be Hoyer remaining the starter into 2018, Beathard competes for the backup role, and they develop a new rookie as well. If Cousins is not the 49ers quarterback in 2018, I think there is a strong chance it will be Hoyer when Week 1 rolls around.