No. 3: 49ers Quarterback C.J. Beathard
The battle for the primary No. 2 backup quarterback behind Jimmy Garoppolo was a storyline last season, as Nick Mullens eventually won the nod over his predecessor, C.J. Beathard.
Yet Kyle Shanahan elected to keep all three signal-callers on his 53-man roster a year ago. And since San Francisco didn’t suffer any injuries at the position, Beathard ended up within the ranks of the inactives each and every week from the start of 2019 through the Super Bowl.
Just because Shanahan took that route a year ago, however, doesn’t necessarily translate into the same taking course again in 2020.
Beathard, entering a contract year, is set to count for $1.12 million against the cap this season — a lot of money to dish out for a third-string quarterback, assuming that’s where he finishes in the pecking order after training camp. Given his 1-9 record as a starter, it doesn’t appear Beathard would have much of a trade market either, meaning he could simply be cast aside when roster cuts roll around following the team’s fourth and final preseason bout prior to Week 1.
Unless another team offers up a massive trade package for Mullens, which is always possible, Beathard could find himself on the outs if Shanahan wants to free up a roster spot and some money in the process.