Kyle Shanahan and John Lynch will speak to the media Monday afternoon at 1 p.m. PT. The over/under for quarterback questions has been set at 12.
While it makes sense the 49ers wouldn’t want to match or surpass one of the heftier contracts a free agent received, it doesn’t make sense that they wouldn’t be prepared to spend that kind of money on a backup when so many teams were looking for either a starter or a higher quality QB2 option. Quarterback is the most important position on the field, and spending on the backup when the starter has missed 22 games in three seasons would be a valid use of financial resources.
The market now leaves the 49ers with a few options.
Second, they could be readying themselves for a big move in this year’s draft. The 49ers hold the No. 12 pick and may need to trade up to get one of the top four or five signal callers. Day 2 is also an option if they like a player who’ll be available at that point, but it’s hard to believe they’d eschew all veteran options for a second or third-round pick.
“I think the 49ers are the favorite not only in the NFC West, but the NFC. And in the NFC West, I don’t think it’s close,” Silver said on Around the NFL. “The 49ers, to me, are very much like the team that came very, very close to winning the Super Bowl. And I do write off last year to the insane wave of injuries they experienced. I know they might lose some guys. You get Nick Bosa back. If Jimmy Garoppolo ends up being the quarterback and can stay healthy. You see them trying to fortify what they have.”
Waddle (5-foot-10, 182 pounds) is best-suited, at least initially, as a slot receiver in the NFL. He would provide Kyle Shanahan’s offense with an element he has not enjoyed since his arrival with the 49ers in 2017.
In the first Lynch-Shanahan draft, the 49ers selected Trent Taylor in the fifth round. He showed plenty of promise in his first NFL season, catching 43 passes for 430 yards and two touchdowns.
But Taylor’s career was derailed due to back and foot injuries.
After sitting out the entire 2019 season after multiple foot injuries, Taylor was not the same player last season upon his return. He caught just 10 passes for 86 yards entering, and now he remains unsigned as a free agent.
One of them is former first-round draft pick N’Keal Harry, who already generated some potential trade interest before free agency even began. According to a new report by ESPN’s John Keim, at least four organizations are closely monitoring the situation.
The Washington Football Team is believed to be among them:
Washington’s quest to add more offensive talent could include New England WR N’Keal Harry. The team is monitoring his situation, according to multiple sources. The 6-foot-4 Harry, a first-round pick in 2019, hasn’t produced and could be traded. WFT GM Martin Mayhew was sin San Francisco when the 49ers showed interest in Harry before the 2019 draft. At least three other teams could be interested. One source said it’s hard to imagine New England settling for anything less than a fourth-round pick.
The sneaky-good free-agent pickup for the 49ers? It might be interior defensive lineman Zach Kerr, who in a part-time role for the Panthers last season had 13 quarterback pressures, six quarterback knock-downs and two sacks, according to Pro Football Reference.
As with all 49ers defensive linemen, Kerr is blessed with a trait known as get-off. That is, he gets up the field in a hurry, an essential quality in a Kris Kocurek-coached Wide 9 unit. Kerr recorded a 10-yard split of 1.72 seconds when coming out of Delaware in 2014. That’s not an astonishingly good time for the average defensive lineman, but it is when you weigh 326 pounds, which is what Kerr was when he recorded that time.
What’s next: The cornerback is such a physically demanding position, so the 49ers must work to establish more depth. The 49ers have not selected cornerback in the first round of a draft since 2002, when Mike Rumph was selected at No. 27 overall. This could be the year that changes, as the 49ers could have some viable options — such as Caleb Farley (Virginia Tech), Patrick Surtain II (Alabama) or Jaycee Horn (South Carolina) — available at the No. 12 overall pick. On Day 2 or 3 of the draft, the 49ers could also target a player capable of eventually taking over for Williams at nickel back.