Better than Mirer?
June 16 2002
By Bryan Hersh of 49ers Paradise
When the 49ers traded for Cade McNown it seemed like a very smart move. It still does, given that there is little risk for a potential huge pay-off. But if the 49ers were so interested in a veteran backup, why didnít they bring back Rick Mirer before he signed with the Raiders? Mirer knows the teamís offense, its players and looked quite good when given very few opportunities to work with the first stringers, and wile McNown is younger, itís not like the 49ers are projecting him as the teamís future - of course they havenít ruled it out either.
McNownís biggest task with the 49ers will be to prove he is better than Mirer. Afterall, thatís why the 49ers are giving him a serious look. Mirer was let go because he apparently lacked interest with the 49ers. He still wants to be a starter in the league, but realized that when Jeff Garcia emerged his chance wasnít going to come with the 49ers. And so as he lost interest in the 49ers, the 49ers lost interest in him.
McNown has a tough job ahead of him. Heís very far behind the other quarterbacks on the roster, because he just arrived with the team. Terry Donahue had this to say about the situation: ďItís going to be hard for Cade, he's so far behind the other quarterbacks, and I don't think we're going to keep four like we did two years ago. So it's going to be an uphill battle."
Keeping four quarterbacks would have meant that the team would be lighter at some other roster spot. But unless Donahue is simply bluffing, it looks like one of the teamís quarterbacks will be headed to the practice squad if they can clear waivers. Thatís quite unfortunate considering the 49ers are in a bit of a bind at the position. They have young rookie talent, an unproven veteran, and an unproven youngster. The team has made some tough decisions already, but how they handle this one, may just be even tougher.