49ers QB options at a glance


49ers QB options at a glance

Free-agent quarterback Alex Smith spent his Sunday with the Miami Dolphins, a team that swung and missed on Peyton Manning and took a called third strike on free-agent Matt Flynn.People around these parts have little interest in what's happening with the Dolphins. Except that if the Dolphins were to express aggressive interest in Smith, it could shape what the 49ers do this season at the quarterback position.The 49ers placed an offer on the table for Smith some time ago. Smith did not sign it. Then, the 49ers began their pursuit of Manning, who has not told any of the contending teams when they can expect a decision, a league source told CSNBayArea.com on Sunday.So if Smith were to go back to the 49ers with the intention of accepting the 49ers' three-year, 24 million contract, he would then be putting the ball in the 49ers' court. Does their offer to Smith still stand while Peyton Manning remains a possibility? The answer to that question is not known.The 49ers' options at quarterback are. . . --Complete the Smith contract. Using Matt Flynn's sparkling new three-year contract with the Seattle Seahawks as a measuring stick, the 49ers probably don't feel inclined to alter their offer to Smith. The 49ers and Smith can decide to put this mess behind them and move on with the 2012 season. The pursuit for Peyton would end at the exact moment Smith signs a multi-year extension. The 49ers aren't going to have two quarterbacks paid as starters. After all, Manning's contract is expected to reach 18 million to 23 million annually, a source said.RELATED: Alex Smith's career stats
--Wait for the Manning decision, and hope like heck he signs on to play for the 49ers. As previously reported here, Manning is working unilaterally on his decision. Agent Tom Condon, who also represents Smith, is not part of the process. A league source told CSNBayArea.com that Condon cannot be leading Smith in any direction based on Manning's mindset because Condon does not know which way Manning is leaning.RELATED: Peyton Manning's career stats
--The 49ers will hold the door open for Smith if Manning goes to Denver or Tennessee.--But if Smith signs quickly with the Dolphins (and Mike Klis of the Denver Post reports the sides are negotiating) and Manning goes elsewhere, the 49ers will have other options, too:1) If Manning signs with the Titans, the 49ers can go after veteran quarterback Matt Hasselbeck, whom they thought they were going to sign a year ago. Then, Hasselbeck and Colin Kaepernick would compete for the starting job;RELATED: Matt Hasselbeck career stats
2) If Manning signs with the Broncos, the 49ers would likely sign Josh Johnson -- about the only quarterback left on the market. Then, Kaepernick and Johnson would compete for the job.

Still unconvinced there is a place for Kaepernick in a new and nastier NFL


Still unconvinced there is a place for Kaepernick in a new and nastier NFL

I hadn’t considered the notion of Jacksonville quarterback Blake Bortles bombing quite so badly Thursday night, so I hadn’t considered the notion advanced by Pro Football Talk Friday morning that Jacksonville might be a great place for Colin Kaepernick.

That’s because I long ago stopped considering the idea that Kaepernick’s exile from football was, or is, about football. It isn’t. He is the example for future player/miscreants, and trotting his name out every time a quarterback in the new NFL vomits up a practice game on national television is simply perpetuating a lie.

Until someone gets so desperate that it isn’t any more.

That’s the problem with being so definitive about Kaepernick’s perpetual ban. It only takes one owner with a willingness to stick a middle finger up to the objections and say, “I own a football team, not some branch of the USO” to end this national spitfest once and for all. And yes, I say owner because this is an owner’s decision, solely and completely. In the hypothetical of Kaepernick the Jaguar, it will be made not by Doug Marrone, who is merely a coach, or by Tom Coughlin, who is only the general manager, but Shahid Khad, one of the brightest and quietly more powerful owners in the league.

But the odds still scream No Kaep For You, because it would mean that exhibition games matter for judgmental purposes (which they don’t), that Bortles is somehow worse than half the quarterbacks in the NFL (he is part of an amorphous blob of non-producers whose numbers are growing as the differences between college and pro football offenses expand), and that owners easily break away from the herd once the herd has decided on something (Khan is not a rebel in the Jerry Jones mold by any means).

In other words, I remain unconvinced that there is a place for Colin Kaepernick in a new and nastier NFL. And he’s probably better off.

Zuttah ends up back with Ravens after release from 49ers


Zuttah ends up back with Ravens after release from 49ers

One week after center Jeremy Zuttah played his way off the 49ers’ roster in short order, he ended up back with the team that got rid of him to open the offseason.

The Baltimore Ravens on Friday announced the signing of Zuttah, whom the 49ers released on Aug. 9 after acquiring him from the Ravens in a March trade.

The 49ers determined center Daniel Kilgore was clearly better than Zuttah. Moreover, Zuttah he did not demonstrate any promise of being an asset at either of the guard positions.

Zuttah, 31, played the past three seasons with the Ravens after six seasons with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Zuttah was named to his first Pro Bowl after last season.

The 49ers originally acquired Zuttah in a swap of sixth-round draft picks. The Ravens received the 49ers’ pick at No. 186 and selected Virginia Tech safety Chuck Clark. The 49ers took over Baltimore’s selection at No. 198 and chose Mississippi defensive tackle D.J. Jones.

The 49ers are confident in Kilgore and offensive tackles Joe Staley and Trent Brown. However, there is concern at the guard positions.

Brandon Fusco appears to be earning the confidence of the coaching staff at right guard. But left guard remains a concern. Zane Beadles is currently the starter while Joshua Garnett rehabs from arthroscopic knee surgery to repair cartilage. The 49ers are hopeful Garnett will be available for the opening of the regular season.