The 49ers will add a quarterback to their roster this offseason. In fact, odds are that they’ll bring in more than one new quarterback in what could be a complete makeover at the position, Nick Wagoner of ESPN.com reports.
But just because the Niners will be adding a quarterback or three in the weeks to come doesn’t necessarily mean they will be adding the quarterback they seek to lead the franchise for the next decade or so.
After hiring coach Kyle Shanahan and general manager John Lynch, one of the 49ers’ top priorities has been how they will go about finding a solution for the long term at the game’s most important position. With Colin Kaepernick likely to opt out of his contract in early March and the three other quarterbacks on the roster set to become free agents, there will be changes, that much is certain.
What isn’t certain is where Shanahan and Lynch will be able to find their man. As is always the case, franchise quarterbacks don’t grow on trees and teams aren’t in a hurry to let the ones that are qualified walk away. In fact, Shanahan has said he believes there’s only about seven surefire answers in the world.
“You’re always looking for one of those seven throwers on the planet, whatever that number is,” Shanahan said. “But I’m guessing there’s only around seven, so you’d better not be set on that and say, ‘Hey, I need one of those seven guys.’ I hope we get one of those guys, but if you don’t, you’ve got to find other ways to win.”
“It’s too important of a position to make an impulsive move,” Shanahan told the radio station. “When you make a decision on a quarterback, you don’t want that to be just a short-term fix. You want to make a commitment to somebody. And in order to do that, you better make sure you’re on the same page with everyone else, you’ve put the time in, you’ve talked to people who have been with these guys. There’s a lot that goes into it.”
“Everybody wishes and hopes you can take that quarterback who is going to be there and be that franchise guy for the next 15 years,” Shanahan said. “But that’s just what you hope for. You don’t draft people based off of what you hope. You’ve got to draft people based on what you truly believe is the right answer. Knowing no one has all the right answers, there’s nothing that’s going to guarantee you’re going to be right.
“You’ve got to think very clearly. What I mean by that is you can’t just hope for stuff and wish things to happen. You’ve got to look at each situation differently. You’ve got to see what’s available. If there is a quarterback there that we believe can match that criteria and we believe he can be a franchise quarterback for us, then, of course, you don’t hesitate on that. But if you don’t see that and there’s other good players — if there’s a pass-rusher, if there’s a linebacker, if there’s an O-lineman — whatever it is, you need to get the best player possible who you think will help your team the next 10 years.”