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49ers: Josh Johnson or Blaine Gabbert, who stays who goes?

The preseason is over and now the difficult part begins; choosing the 53-man roster that will makeup the 2014 San Francisco 49ers.

The depth chart of greatest concern might be the quarterback position.

We know Colin Kaepernick is set to go as the starter, but after Kap, it’s up in the air. According to coach Jim Harbaugh, Blaine Gabbert is the backup:

“Blaine is that guy right now”

Gabbert’s preseason performance was consistently inconsistent. For every good play or drive, it was followed up with something bad in return. In four games, Gabbert completed 22 of 47 passes (47% completion) for 186 yards, two touchdowns, two interceptions, and had an overall QB rating of 57.5.

There’s no question that Gabbert improved throughout the preseason, but there’s also that comfort zone of knowing who your backup QB is. Unless you were a team like the Green Bay Packers in the 1990s with Brett Favre, who was basically indestructible, nowadays, you need to have a good backup QB.

Josh Johnson on the other hand, was more consistent during the preseason but never really got going until the final game and against players that most likely won’t be on an NFL roster come Saturday.

But when Josh Johnson performed, boy oh boy did he perform; completing 14 of 17 passes for three touchdowns and a QB rating of 114.8.

Overall, Johnson had a better completion percentage than Gabbert (71.7%), tossed more touchdowns, threw for more yards and had a better overall QB rating.

Everything about this QB situation screams out to keep Josh Johnson as a member of the 49ers in 2014.

He knows and played for Jim Harbaugh in college, he was a member of the 49ers back in 2012, and he’s athletic enough to run similar plays that San Francisco currently runs with Kaepernick out of the pistol offense.

But there’s also the money thing, and for the 49ers, moving a 6th round pick to Jacksonville for Gabbert might out weight his preseason performance.

Gabbert has talent, there’s no question about it. In a perfect world, the 49ers would keep both Gabbert and Johnson, but in today’s NFL, depth at other positions hold more water than a third string QB whose chances of seeing the field are slim-to-none.

In the end, San Francisco will make the move that they believe is in their best interest. If it was up to me, and I had to choose between Gabbert and Josh Johnson, I’m taking Josh Johnson.

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