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What Is Happening At QB?
June 14 2002
By Bryan Hersh of 49ers Paradise
The 49ers shocked the NFL on Thursday when they added yet another quarterback to their roster. The 49ers acquired the three year player, Cade McNown for a conditional seventh round draft pick from the Dolphins. The addition of McNown shows that the 49ers are not fully set on the depth behind starting quarterback Jeff Garcia.

McNown will join the 49ers and compete for a spot behind Jeff Garcia with Tim Ratty, Giovanni Carmazzi, Brandon Doman, and Aaron Garcia. But the 49ers are not likely to bring all of those men into training camp. Donahue reiterated that the teams intentions are only to bring four quarterbacks to training camp. The team is believed to be negotiating an injury settlement with former third round pick Giovanni Carmazzi, or could place him on the injured reserve, but that would still leave one more cut.

McNown will clearly be behind the rest of the group as he was just handed the 49ers play book. But his experience in the West Coast Offense in college should come in handly. McNown has not played in such a system in the NFL, and as a result his career never met the expectations that came with him being drafted in the first round.

The signing signifies that the 49ers are not set on anyone behind Jeff Garcia. At one point it seemed that Tim Ratty would have a walk in the park this off-season but clearly the 49ers are looking for someone to challenge him too. They may have found their man in Cade McNown who is looking to finally stick with a team after spending some time with the Bears and Dolphins.

The 49ers have carried four quarterbacks on their roster in the past, but there intentions this year donít seem to have that in the plans. The team may be hoping to place Brandon Doman on their practice squad, but he would have to clear the waiver wire to do that. Perhaps the team has already made a decision on whether Aaron Garcia is capable of making the step from Arena Football to NFL, and thatís why they went out and got McNown.

Of course thereís still the possibility that the 49ers have a look at McNown, decide heís not for them, and move on without him. With six quarterbacks on roster, and one in NFL Europe, its hard to believe anyone will even have a chance to show what they have leading up to, and in training camp. These players will have to take advantage of every opportunity given to them, if they intend on making the roster and the 49ers will have some very tough decisions to make before and during training camp.

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