No. 4: Quarterback C.J. Beathard
Like keeping Richie James from offensive opportunities, Kyle Shanahan’s decision to keep three quarterbacks on the regular season roster — Jimmy Garoppolo, Nick Mullens and C.J. Beathard — was a provocative one.
Earlier this offseason, there was understandable speculation the 49ers could move Mullens, who has trade value and would be a much more sought-after commodity on the open market. Beathard and his 1-9 career record as a starter had zero value.
Yet if the Niners were interested in moving Mullens this offseason, they would have done so by now. Especially when more than a handful of teams were scrambling for quarterbacks both during the NFL Draft and immediately afterwards. There’s always the chance another team’s starting signal-caller suffers a training camp or preseason injury, perhaps opening up the market for Mullens. But that’s a scenario yet to play out.
For now, Beathard looks to be a potential “odd man out,” especially considering he’s entering a contract year and will cost San Francisco just over $176,000 in dead money if the team wants to free up a roster spot.
Given the sheer number of injuries and depth needs the 49ers had a year ago, this might be a smart move, pointing towards the stronger likelihood Beathard is no longer with the team by Week 1.