The position battles at wide receiver and backup quarterback just heated up for the San Francisco 49ers. The team announced the signing of quarterback Seneca Wallace to a one-year deal on Thursday. To make room for the new addition at QB, the causality on the roster was wide receiver Ricardo Lockette who was waived.
Most Niner fans know Wallace from his days with the Seattle Seahawks who selected him in the fourth-round of the 2003 draft. He left Seattle for the Cleveland Browns before the start of the 2010 season. Last season he did not play in the NFL, but he signed with New Orleans Saints this past April. He was released by the Saints on Monday. In nine seasons, he has played in 62 games, completing 452 of 764 pass attempts for 4,808 yards and 31 touchdowns.
The signing of Wallace makes the competition for backup quarterback even more interesting. Before the Niners signed him, Colt McCoy, Scott Tolzien and rookie B.J. Daniels were battling it out with no clear frontrunner. It is now clear, however, one of those three quarterbacks have not impressed the coaches at training camp and in the preseason.
One reason for the Niners signing Wallace is his experience. In his career, he has started at quarterback 21 times, compared to 21 starts by McCoy and zero for Tolzien and Daniels in the NFL. Another reason is Wallace is known as a running QB, which fits the mold of Colin Kaepernick and the 49ers offense.
There’s no way Jim Harbaugh and GM Trent Baalke keep four backup quarterbacks on the final regular season roster. Assuming Wallace will make the team, the odd-man out will be McCoy. He and Tolzien have struggled in the first two preseason games, while Daniels has shined with the third-string offense. This makes the remaining games vital for their chances to be on the roster. But Tolzien has the inside edge because he has played slightly better and more consistent than McCoy. Plus, he has two years of experience with the offense. Daniels has too much upside for San Francisco to waive him.
What will likely happen is McCoy will be released, Tolzien signed to the practice squad, with Wallace and Daniels as the backups behind Kaepernick. One risk in this scenario is Tolzien has to clear waivers first in order for him to be signed to the practice squad.