The most begging question of the 49ers offseason is who will be the starting QB next season? Several vet QBs figure to be available either via free agency or trade. Theoretically the 49ers could be choosing from a list that includes Matt Hasselbeck, Carson Palmer, Donovan McNabb, Kevin Kolb, Josh Johnson, and Kyle Orton. But none of those veterans I just listed will be wearing the 49ers gold and red next season for a variety of reasons.
John Elway isn’t stupid enough to trade Orton and lay all his eggs in Tim Tebow’s basket. The Bengals still contend that Carson Palmer isn’t going anywhere and if you’ve paid attention to the Bengals track record you’d tend to believe them. Andy Reid who looked like the QB whisperer for his two gutsy QB moves last year (trading McNabb in favor of Kolb, then immediately benching Kolb for Michael Vick) isn’t going to give up the cheap and effective Kolb for anything less than a 1st round pick. Josh Johnson is getting a lot of press as a possible 49er acquisition, there’s one huge problem with that Johnson is not ready to be a starting QB in the NFL. That leaves McNabb, I don’t see this team going after Donovan not after how awful he looked last season especially given the fact that GM Trent Baalke had the chance to trade for him last season and chose to pass.
That brings us to Marc Bulger the best and most logical choice to start at QB for the 49ers for the next year or two. Forget Bulger’s last two years in St. Louis as that team was talent depleted everywhere especially offensive line. Bulger had a mismanaged injury much like Alex Smith’s during the Nolan tenure when he was rushed back before he was ready and the combination of a bad team and injuries led to two inconsistent seasons. Still Bulger was an extremely coveted free agent last season and made $3.5M as a backup last year for Jim Harbaugh’s brother’s Baltimore Ravens team. The Harbaugh brother showed a lot of confidence in Bulger by cutting Troy Smith before the regular season and going with Bulger as the only backup QB. Sure it’s been three years since Bulger was successful with the Rams but it’s been longer than that since he’s had the type of talent around him that he would have in SF. You also have to consider the fact that he’s probably the most available QB out of all veteran options as an unrestricted free agent who will undoubtedly be looking for a starting job to resurrect his career much like a guy named Kurt Warner who once upon a time lost his job in St. Louis, got kicked out of NY and lead Arizona to its first Super Bowl. The 49ers will draft at least one QB in the 2011 draft and Bulger is not only a QB that can take the team to the playoffs next season but help groom a young apprentice.