49ers sign Skelton to take Daniels' roster spot

49ers sign Skelton to take Daniels' roster spot
October 2, 2013, 9:45 am
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In three seasons with the Cardinals, John Skelton completed 53.2 percent of his passes for 15 touchdowns and 25 interceptions. (USA TODAY IMAGES)

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The 49ers on Wednesday signed veteran quarterback John Skelton to a one-year contract to replace rookie B.J. Daniels on the 53-man roster.

Skelton joins backup Colt McCoy as a reserve behind starting quarterback Colin Kaepernick.

Skelton, 25, is a lot bigger than Daniels, a seventh-round draft pick who excelled during the exhibition season. Skelton (6 foot 6, 250 pounds) is 7 inches taller and 33 pounds heavier than Daniels.

Skelton has more experience, as he made 17 starts in three seasons with the Arizona Cardinals. He was a 53.2-percent passer with 15 touchdowns, 25 interceptions, and a passer rating of 63.0.

The Cardinals waived Skelton in April, and the Cincinnati Bengals claimed him. The Bengals decided to keep two quarterbacks on their 53-man roster. Josh Johnson, whom Scott Tolzien beat out for the No. 3 job with the 49ers in 2012, won the role as Andy Dalton’s backup.

In the week leading up to the first game of the season, the 49ers worked out Skelton in Santa Clara. Nearly a month later, they curiously decided to sign him.

Daniels, a seventh-round draft pick, had an impressive training camp and exhibition season to win the No. 3 job over Tolzien and Seneca Wallace. He completed 13 of 21 passes for 178 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions. His passer rating was 128.6.

He also proved adept at the quarterback-driven run game with 12 rushing attempts for 87 yards.

Daniels is subject to the waiver system. If he clears waivers at 1 p.m. Wednesday, the 49ers can bring him back to the practice squad.