The basis of the article was that the 49ers were, “not interested in signing or trading for a high-profile quarterback because they don’t see a better option than backup C.J. Beathard.” A team source told Schefter the organization think Beathard is better than last season and will be productive in place of Jimmy Garoppolo. Not exactly a shocking statement.
Mixed in with this was an odd report. Schefter had a source tell him that, “[s]ome within the league are hoping that the Niners, who have five prime-time games remaining on their schedule, will trade for Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Nick Foles.”
The 49ers were given the max of five prime time games thanks to Garoppolo’s strong finish to the 2017 season. The hype was huge heading into this season, and even with a tough first four games on the schedule, most figured the 49ers would be a quality watch as Garoppolo grew more comfortable in Kyle Shanahan’s offense.
The 49ers primetime schedule is packed, with four in five weeks starting in two weeks against the Green Bay Packers. The 49ers play at Green Bay on Monday Night Football, host the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday Night Football, travel to Arizona for a Sunday afternoon game, and then host the Oakland Raiders on Thursday Night Football and the New York Giants on Monday Night Football. They then have a Week 11 bye, and two weeks later travel to face the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday Night Football.
Beathard came out on in Week 4 and looked really solid against the Los Angeles Chargers. The team lost, but he made some huge plays for them and had the 49ers in position to swing the upset. The Chargers defense is awful, but it was still a strong performance. And with the Cardinals coming to town this week, the 49ers have a strong chance of heading into their primetime slate with some decent momentum.
I am mostly amused by the idea of NFL officials hoping a team adds another player to make them a little more watchable in primetime. It’s not surprising but it still cracks me up. Especially when the 49ers current quarterback goes out and puts together a solid effort. I doubt Beathard read the article before the game, but adding a little “nobody believes in me” to the mix is always helpful.
Nick Foles stunned much of the world with his run after Carson Wentz got hurt. Wentz is back from his torn ACL, but only has two games under his belt. The Eagles would have to be pretty bowled over to trade their backup given the nature of Wentz’s injury and how recently he returned to game action.
But even beyond that, I agree with the 49ers team source who told Schefter Beathard would look different this year after the full 2018 offseason learning and working in Shanahan’s system. If he can develop into even just a capable system quarterback, I think we’d all be pleased with that. It would give the 49ers a strong backup option when Garoppolo returns from his torn ACL, and maybe even someone they can deal for some value draft assets down the road.
And in the meantime, he can stick it to NFL executives who think the 49ers need to find someone to improve ratings!