49ers’ QB plan: Accumulate as many former Bears as possible … Cutler next?

We’re seeing a couple of early trends for the new regime as the free agency avalanche has been unleashed on Santa Clara.

1. Kyle Shanahan enjoys familiarity.

  • WR Pierre Garçon (played for Shanahan in Washington)
  • QB Brian Hoyer (played for Shanahan in Cleveland)
  • LB Malcolm Smith (coached by Shanahan’s DC, Robert Saleh)
  • WR Aldrick Robinson (played for Shanahan in Atlanta)

2. They must not think much of Chicago Bears offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains or quarterbacks coach Dave Ragone.

Otherwise, why would they sign Matt Barkley one day after signing Hoyer? And these moves lead us to ask the obvious question: Are they done? Not done with free agency — done signing quarterbacks from the 2016 Bears.

I swear I was just messing around this morning.

Other than coming from the same team, you can see the logic in signing these two particular quarterbacks. Hoyer is 31 and has experience with Shanahan’s offense, while Barkley is 26 and flashed some upside at the end of last season. However, Barkley’s stock rose and fell over a two-week span to an extent that’s rarely seen in any line of business.

That’s why I thought it would be fun to take a suggestion from a couple friends.

Here’s a list of games John Lynch called for Fox in 2016:

  • Week 1: Packers/Jaguars
  • Week 2: Cowboys/Redskins
  • Week 3: 49ers/Seahawks
  • Week 4: Seahawks/Jets
  • Week 5: Falcons/Broncos
  • Week 6: Eagles/Redskins
  • Week 7: Saints/Chiefs
  • Week 8: Redskins/Bengals
  • Week 9: Panthers/Rams
  • Week 10: Falcons/Eagles
  • Week 11: BEARS/Giants
  • Week 12: Cardinals/Falcons
  • Week 13: Rams/Patriots
  • Week 14: Redskins/Eagles
  • Week 15: Packers/BEARS
  • Week 16: Cardinals/Seahawks
  • Week 17: Cowboys/Eagles
  • Divisional: Seahawks/Falcons

Maybe tomorrow I’ll take a deep dive and check out the top performers from every one of these games for future reference. But for the purposes of tonight’s Bears-centric post, let’s take a look at how Chicago quarterbacks performed in Weeks 11 and 15.

Week 11: Jay Cutler completed 17-of-30 for 252 yards, with 1 touchdown and 1 interception (Bears lost 22-16)

Week 15: Matt Barkley completed 30-of-43 for 362 yards, 2 touchdowns and 3 interceptions (Bears lost 30-27)

Uh-huh. That was the game that made people say out loud that Barkley might be one of the better young quarterbacks available in free agency … until he threw five picks a week later and his balloon fluttered harmlessly to the floor.

Granted, Shanahan would probably have final say over quarterbacks (if not most areas of the roster). But if Shanahan already liked Barkley to a certain extent, and Lynch was really high on him after watching him in an entertaining battle against Aaron Rodgers, maybe that was the extra nudge the front office as a whole needed to make Barkley a competitive offer.

Barkley’s merit as a free agent quarterback is difficult to determine, due to his uneven year (on a bad team, admittedly). Overall, he could be a decent flier as long as the 49ers didn’t overbid. As mentioned, Barkley’s price likely dropped significantly after his Week 15 high. It doesn’t matter if you throw for 323 yards and 2 scores when you get picked off 5 times by Washington. Then he fizzled out to end the season with 125 yards (10-of-14) with no scores and 2 interceptions in Week 17.

Whatever, it’s not my money. Or yours. It’s the Yorks’ money, and they have enough to add four free agent quarterbacks if they so choose.

Here’s where everyone should draw the line.

Unless all of those things Lynch and Shanahan said about teamwork and character were just coachspeak/GMspeak (which is possible), Cutler is the last guy they should consider, and not just because replicating the quarterback room from a 3-13 team isn’t the greatest way to revamp a 2-14 team. Fortunately for the 49ers, Lynch was calling the action when Cutler had a nondescript game, a performance that was nothing like Barkley’s supposed star-making performance four weeks later.

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