According to Carl Steward over at San Jose Mercury News the 49ers are rumored to be interested in trading for Tampa Bay Buccaneers backup quarterback Josh Johnson. Johnson is not only a Bay Area product having played at Oakland Tech High School but he also played for Jim Harbaugh from 2004-2006 where Johnson excelled under Harbaugh winning two straight Pioneer Football League Championships at the University of San Diego. This is just a rumor but it seems to have some traction however with the NFL lockout nothing can be done until a new CBA is signed.
In a recent post I said the 49ers should gamble in free agency on one of the available quarterbacks I also said the 49ers could trade for Johnson because of his connection with Harbaugh. If a trade does goes down I would not only be for it but I think it would be great for the 49ers and would solve their quarterback problem. The biggest factor is in only three seasons in the NFL Johnson has started just six regular season games. With the way Johnson excelled at the University San Diego and how he received so much attention from NFL scouts and was drafted by the Buccaneers even though he played in Division I-AA says a lot not only about Johnson’s ability to be a successful quarterback in the NFL but also the effect Harbaugh has on quarterbacks he coaches. The familiarity between Johnson and Harbaugh would be a huge plus as he understands the basics of the offense Harbaugh wants to employ in the NFL having played for him for three seasons. I can see the 49ers wanting to trade for a quarterback to avoid having to draft and rely on any of the prospects in this year’s draft to be starter next season. Johnson is still raw and could start next season for the 49ers by learning under Harbaugh but he certainly needs to develop more to be a consistent starter. It also does not hurt that the 49ers would probably only have to give up a second or third round draft pick for Johnson which would be worth the price.