With the NFL draft two months away, rumors are heating up regarding how the San Francisco 49ers plan to address their vacant quarterback position. While conflicting reports have emerged over the past few days pertaining to Colin Kaepernick’s future with the team, it appears as though he may be on his way out of San Francisco. Since new 49ers coach Chip Kelly has stated numerous times how much he likes Sam Bradford as a player, there is a chance that the former Philadelphia Eagle and St. Louis Ram could be joining Kelly in San Francisco.
As previously reported by the Inquisitr, analysts and insiders around the league have long speculated that Bradford could be a good fit for the 49ers. While many fans believe that Chip Kelly prefers mobile quarterbacks, there is really no evidence of this. During Kelly’s tenure in Philadelphia, his quarterbacks included Michael Vick, Nick Foles, Mark Sanchez, and Sam Bradford. While Vick was once one of the most dangerous duel-threat quarterbacks in the NFL, he was benched for Foles—and the offense actually improved after this change.
NJ Advance Media notes that while Kelly does not have the same personnel duties that he had in Philadelphia, he is going to have influence over who the next quarterback is.
“Kelly is the head coach of the 49ers. He’s not running the personnel department. That role is filled by general manager Trent Baalke, who has been hesitant to acquire high-profile quarterbacks through free agency. Kelly likes Bradford. And chances are, if Kelly were still the Eagles’ head coach, a deal might have already been in place for the quarterback. The question is, does Kelly, after a little more than a month on the job, have the juice to convince his boss that a quarterback, who has never had a winning record in six years, is worth what it’s going to cost to sign him? Hey, Kelly can be persuasive. And Baalke just might listen.”
And it is true that Bradford has largely been a failure since being drafted by the Rams as the first overall pick in the 2010 draft. While factors such as injuries, poor coaching, and questionable weapons on offense cannot be denied, Bradford just has not gotten the job done.
After a slow start to his first year in Philadelphia, Bradford did improve towards the second half of the season. In 14 games, he threw for a career-high 3,725 yards. He also threw for 19 touchdowns and completed 65 percent of his passes. Not elite numbers, but Bradford had little to work with in Philadelphia. The offensive line was old and injured, and the young receiving corps dropped an unbelievable number of passes.
Regardless of Bradford’s pedestrian career numbers, he may be the best option for the 49ers over the next few years. With Kaepernick most likely gone, the other option is Blaine Gabbert. While Gabbert was solid in 10 games last season, he has not been a good quarterback over his five-year career. As previously reported by the Inquisitr, Kelly has praised Gabbert, but it remains to be seen whether or not he would commit to him as the starting quarterback.
Additionally, the 49ers could also take a quarterback in the upcoming draft. As Niners Nation reports, the team has met with quarterbacks Jared Goff and Paxton Lynch. While Goff is expected to go to the Cleveland Browns as the No. 2 overall pick, Lynch should be available for the 49ers when they pick at No. 7. In addition to Goff and Lynch, Carson Wentz is also a possibility.
The problem with the young college quarterbacks is that none of them are expected to make much of a difference immediately. While Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota were ready to go right away last year, the learning curve may be a bit higher with Goff, Lynch, and Wentz.
As ProFootballTalk notes, phone calls regarding the availability of Kaepernick have started to come in, so it could only be a matter of time before he is gone. With Sam Bradford set to become a free agent on March 9, rumors will continue to come out regarding the possibility that he signs with the San Francisco 49ers.
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