Matt Maiocco reported the Seneca Wallace rumor yesterday, and today the San Francisco 49ers added him to their ever-changing roster. Wallace, like Colt McCoy, played for the Cleveland Browns and has started in 21 NFL games.
That leaves the 49ers with five quarterbacks (and one less receiver — goodbye, Ricardo Lockette). Only three will make the club. Here was the quarterback depth chart most of us thought the 49ers would roll with in Week 1:
- QB1: Colin Kaepernick*
- QB2: Colt McCoy
- QB3: Scott Tolzien
It’s highly unlikely we’ll see that plan come to fruition now, as both McCoy and Tolzien have forced Jim Harbaugh’s hand by playing like J.T. O’Sullivan on Ambien. The presumptive QB2 and QB3 have been so bad during practices and games that the 49ers have considered building a Kaepernick-sized Popemobile (Kapmobile) to protect him on his journey to and from the team hotel.
If you think that was a joke, take a look at McCoy’s and Tolzien’s preseason numbers:
Blech. That’s more Dane Cook or Carrot Top funny than Louis C.K. or Chris Rock funny. It’s hard to criticize Tolzien, since he has no regular season experience and was the third-string quarterback last season. But I was never a fan of the McCoy trade, for the reasons I listed on April 1:
– McCoy has never been able to show off his outstanding college accuracy (he completed 70.3% of his passes at Texas) in the pros (where he has only completed 58.3%). –> CHECK
– McCoy’s arm isn’t as weak as Ken Dorsey’s, but it certainly isn’t in the top half of NFL quarterbacks. Not even close. –> CHECK
– He isn’t a statue like Carson Palmer, but McCoy’s yards per carry numbers are nothing to get too excited over — 3.9 in the NFL and 3.5 in college. –> McCoy has rushed for 36 yards on 5 carries (7.2 avg) during the preseason, thanks to a 19-yard run on Friday that was helped by a downfield block courtesy of … A.J. Jenkins! The point still stands: McCoy likes to run, but he isn’t as fast as he thinks he is.
– McCoy will make $1.5 million this season, which takes the 49ers’ available cap space to about $3 million. –> The 49ers were about $7.3 million below the cap before today (they also placed Darcel McBath on IR today and added linebacker Joe Holland). Money is still an issue, because the 49ers are going to end up spending a lot of dough on guys who are on the injured lists. They wouldn’t mind saving a little money.
Now Wallace joins the party to liven things up a little. I don’t have a lot of opinions on Wallace, partly because he hasn’t played since 2011. He has a cool-sounding first name, doesn’t throw many interceptions (career INT% of 2.4) and isn’t much of a runner (293 rushing yards in 62 games, 4.3 ypc). He’s listed at 5′ 11″, which would make him the shortest quarterback on the roster.
Things have changed a lot since June 4, when Harbaugh said McCoy was his No. 2 quarterback. Wallace could end up playing just as poorly as McCoy and Tolzien, but there’s probably a reason why the 49ers were prompted to sign Wallace with only two-plus weeks to go until the start of the regular season.
Since we can’t watch practices and we have a few days until the next preseason game, there’s no better time than now to throw out a prediction on what the quarterback rotation will look like in Week 1.
- QB1: Colin Kaepernick
- QB2: Seneca Wallace
- QB3: B.J. Daniels
Yeah, it’s a little crazy and there’s a good chance I’ll end up completely wrong. Here’s my reasoning …
I assume Wallace won’t be as bad as McZien, and even though it came against third-string competition I think Daniels opened some eyes with his ability to string some completions together and lead the 49ers to a … gasp … touchdown in Kansas City. Daniels is raw, but he has a great arm and he can run a little bit, plus he showed the moxie to make the most of his first real opportunity. The coaching staff has been praying for one of the backups to do this throughout August.
Contrast Daniels’ recent play with what we’ve seen from McCoy and Tolzien. They can both make excuses about the shoddy backup offensive line they’ve had to play behind, but neither player has exactly seized the moment(s).
The 49ers clearly want a guy with NFL experience behind Kaepernick, which is why they traded for McCoy. But there’s a decent chance another team says “why not” and grabs Daniels if the 49ers place him on the practice squad. Let’s put it this way: if other teams could pick up either Daniels or Tolzien right now, who thinks Tolzien gets snatched up first?
Niner Cap Hell believes Wallace — who was cut by the Saints — will get $940,000 from the 49ers, with only $555,000 counting against the cap due to the minimum salary benefit program. With McCoy making $1.5 million, he’s probably going against Wallace for the No. 2 job. Tolzien is probably out of luck unless he turns things around ASAP.
Sunday may be too early for Wallace to play, which is something Harbaugh will undoubtedly be asked about tomorrow (the 49ers have the day off today, so Wallace is probably working closely with Harbaugh and Greg Roman as I write this). But that game against the Vikings should be interesting, just to see how each quarterback responds once the starter gets taken out in the first quarter and placed in his Kapmobile.
*There’s no way I’m going to play into ESPN’s little game and mention the Ron Jaworski “best ever” thing. Simply ridiculous.