Grading 49ers Actions in First Round of Free Agency
By Jerod Brown
49ers Sign Quarterback Thad Lewis to a One-Year Deal
Okay, so the replacing Colin Kaepernick part was just a joke. Obviously, Thad Lewis isn’t going to come to Santa Clara and suddenly become the starting quarterback of the future. Although that would make one hell of a Hollywood movie script.
The 49ers announced the signing Thursday afternoon, just as rumors of Kaepernick trades were filling the air.
That last bit sounded like a terrible sports-themed “Twas the Night Before Christmas”.
"‘Twas the second day of free agency and all through the halls The 49ers needed someone who could throw a few balls So they choose Thad Lewis as the P.R. repair While rumors of a Kaepernick trade filled the air"
Okay, that was absolutely a mess. That’s why I write sports pieces and not holiday songs. However, when you’re incessantly checking Twitter for three days straight, some funny things happen to your mind.
Lewis won’t start for the team. He might not even make the 53-man roster when the season begins. But he has experience in head coach Chip Kelly’s system–he played for Kelly with the Eagles last season–and the 49ers need someone that can manage the offense while other players learn the system. Lewis is like the glorified T.A. that took the class just before you but didn’t get a very good grade, and now just needs a little credit makeup to graduate.
It’s hard to judge this signing with much animosity and the interruption of Kaepernick discussions was much needed. In his conference call that followed the signing–yes, the 49ers had a conference call with their third-string quarterback–Lewis was particularly kind about Kelly’s influence as a coach (h/t to David Fucillo of Niners Nation) :
"Very smart, intelligent man that knows the game of football. He’s had success because of that, and you get a sense of that when you sit down with him and talk X’s and O’s. And then you see that on the football field when your game plan is working pretty well, and when it’s rolling. And so, those are the things that I saw firsthand last year, and I was happy with that. I was glad to see that, not knowing him beforehand, and it made an impression on me."
He wasn’t paid much to come to the 49ers and likely recognizes that he’ll have a shot to be the third quarterback at best.
The salary for Lewis makes it clear that the 49ers aren’t investing much in him at all, and rightfully so. He’s started only six games over his entire career and has thrown for less than 1,300 yards. He’s a quarterback that can come in and immediately run the system for practices. In a pinch, he could become the Josh Johnson-type of roster player that is routinely re-signed when/if the team is hit by injuries.
Overall, nothing to cheer about and nothing to be bothered by. Laying low–aside from the Kaepernick mess–seems to be the 49ers plan this offseason.
Next: Offensive Firepower