Flu bug hits Eli, ex-49er Carr is backup

645322.jpg

Flu bug hits Eli, ex-49er Carr is backup

New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning did not finish practice Wednesday morning due to a "stomach bug," Giants coach Tom Coughlin told reporters.Coughlin added that he hoped his quarterback's illness was a "24-hour deal."No doubt the Giants hope so as well, what with Manning playing of late like the self-described "elite" quarterback he proclaimed himself to be earlier this season and after taking a look at the Giants' depth chart. David Carr, the former No. 1 overall draft pick out of Fresno State and one-time 49ers quarterback, is Manning's backup.Carr, who did not take a single snap this season, last played in an NFL game on Oct. 24, 2010 ... for the 49ers. It was his only appearance for the 49ers, in relief of an injured Alex Smith, and Carr completed five of 13 passes for 67 yards and an interception for a ghastly passer rating of 23.6 in a 23-20 loss at Carolina. Carr had his contract terminated by the 49ers almost as soon as the lockout ended, on July 29."A lot of people had to leave, me included," Carr said this week, according to Giants.com. "But it ended up working out for me and hopefully for a lot of the guys that had to leave. It would have been nice to get a chance to stay out there, but this worked out pretty well too."Carr, who was drafted by Houston in 2002, has also spent time with Carolina and had an earlier stint with the Giants. The way things ended in San Francisco, though, left a particularly bitter taste in the California native's mouth.He spoke of it in training camp."I kind of knew from the spring that it wasn't going to be a situation where I was going to get to compete for anything," Carr said in August. "That was kind of frustrating for me all the way back then. This was last spring. This was before the season. As far as how they were giving the reps out and what not. That was the tough part for me. I kind of wanted to come back to New York then."What happened was when the general manager (Scott McLoughan) that was there brought me in, the understanding was that I was going to compete. Then he ended up getting fired and they brought in a new general manager (Trent Baalke). They have their own ideas. I kind of just got washed up to the side."I was like, man, this is not going to be good."Carr said he also spoke to incoming 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh about his prospects."I think he was straight up with me," Carr said. "He said that anybody that's in camp is going to get the chance to compete for the job. I just happened to not be in camp."And the Giants hope Carr is not in the NFC title game come Sunday at Candlestick Park..

49ers extend one-year qualifying offers to Purcell, Bradford

49ers extend one-year qualifying offers to Purcell, Bradford

The 49ers on Monday extended one-year qualifying offers to nose tackle Mike Purcell and linebacker Carl Bradford as exclusive-rights free agents.

Purcell appeared in 15 games last season. He started the first five games of the season at nose tackle and was a reserve for the remainder of the season. Originally signed in 2013 as an undrafted rookie from Wyoming, Purcell has appeared in 25 games over the past three seasons.

The 49ers claimed Bradford off waivers in December from the Green Bay Packers. He appeared in the final two games of the season with the 49ers and was credited with two tackles.

Bradford entered the NFL out of Arizona State as a fourth-round pick of the Packers in 2014. After being inactive for every game as a rookie, Bradford was among Green Bay’s final cuts in 2015. He spent the season on the practice squad.

He appeared in four games for the Packers last year. The 49ers claimed him after he was waived in December.

Exclusive rights free agents are player who have fewer than three years of NFL service who have no outside negotiating power if a team extends a qualifying offer.

Mailbag: Which 49ers vets are on shaky ground?

Mailbag: Which 49ers vets are on shaky ground?

The 49ers’ new regime heads to the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis this week with the first major wave of offseason activity set to kick off.

Already, the 49ers have made roster improvements. And there figure to be plenty of activity ahead in the coming weeks.

Here are some questions submitted by readers on Facebook for this edition of 49ers Mailbag:

Do you see the 49ers cutting ties with larger contracts like Bethea, Torrey Smith and Ahmad Brooks?‬ (Blair Wilkins)
The 49ers have approximately $75 million in space under the salary cap – and that’s before any adjustment of Colin Kaepernick’s contract. So it’s not as if the organization needs to create cap room.

Any decision made to part ways with veteran players will be made solely on how that player fits into what the 49ers envision on the field.

And that’s what general manager John Lynch, coach Kyle Shanahan and his staff are doing now. They are studying the video from last season to determine which players fit their ideals.

Safety Antoine Bethea is scheduled to earn $5.75 million. Bethea, 32, enters the final year of his contract. There is no question he is everything the 49ers want in a player off the field. If one of the younger guys is not better than Bethea, there is no reason to get rid of him.

Brooks is on the books to earn $5.3 million in 2017. That’s not a huge amount for a starting outside linebacker or defensive end – whichever spot he might fit best. The 49ers must look to upgrade their pass rush. Brooks turns 33 next month. He’s good for six sacks a season. Again, it’s not as if the 49ers can’t afford him. And, as of now, it’s not as if the 49ers have anyone better.

Smith is scheduled to earn $8 million. He has been vastly underutilized in his two seasons since signing with the 49ers. He’s the most interesting case of the high-priced veterans.

Kyle Shanahan’s offense is predicated on using the running game to set up the play-action shot down the field. Smith is limited. He’s not a possession receiver. He’s not going to make plays over the middle. He is an outside receiver whose contributions come in the vertical passing game. But that’s what Shanahan wants.

If Smith is paired with a strong tight end, a running back who catch the ball out of the backfield, a slot receiver with short-area quickness to get open underneath, a very good receiver on the other side and an accurate quarterback who can throw the deep ball, there should be a role for Smith in the 49ers’ offense.

Will the 49ers continue to be aggressive pursuing free agents this offseason? If so, what positions?‬ (Bradley Lodge)
The 49ers have zeroed in on two veteran free agents and they signed them both.

The organization has already spent more money than it did all of last offseason on veteran free agency with the four-year, $16 million deal to sign defensive tackle Earl Mitchell, whom the Miami Dolphins recently released.

Nickel back K’Waun Williams has a history with 49ers defensive backs coach Jeff Hafley. The 49ers did not have to make much of a financial investment to sign him.

The 49ers will definitely go after a veteran quarterback or two in free agency or via trade. Pass rusher, inside linebacker and wide receiver are other positions the 49ers can be expected to look during free agency.

The opening of the new league year – when free-agent signings and trades can occur – is March 9. The draft is seven weeks later.

The 49ers must fill as many of their needs with smart deals that fit into the long-term plan with veteran acquisitions. Then, the draft is about taking the best players on their board when it’s time to select. Teams that reach for need generally strike out.

What are the chances of drafting a QB with first pick and playing them behind a Kap / Cousins until they're ready to become starter?‬ (Hillory Broussard)
If Colin Kaepernick returns, it will not be as a no-questions-asked starter. Just read what Lynch said on KNBR this week about the team’s needs:

“Do we have some places – probably the ultimate position, quarterback – where we need to improve? Absolutely. And we’re committed to doing that.”

That statement can easily be interpreted that Lynch does not believe the 49ers had a starting-caliber quarterback on the roster last season.

But if the 49ers were to go out and swing a trade for Kirk Cousins or Jimmy Garoppolo, it’s going to take a big commitment – in terms of draft picks and a suitable new contract. Then, the 49ers would have that player.

Cousins or Garoppolo would unquestionably fill the 49ers’ need at quarterback for 2017 and beyond -- at least in the minds of the 49ers' new decision-makers. There would be no reason for the 49ers to then draft a quarterback with the No. 2 overall pick – if the 49ers even had the No. 2 overall pick at that point.