San Francisco 49ers’ Interest in Seneca Wallace Magnifies Issues at Backup Quarterback

 

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When the San Francisco 49ers traded Alex Smith to the Kansas City Chiefs prior to the start of free agency this past spring, there were many questions about who would back up third-year phenom Colin Kaepernick.

Those concerns were muted a bit when San Francisco spent very little to acquire former Cleveland Browns starter Colt McCoy in a trade prior to the 2013 NFL draft. While not a viable starter in the NFL, McCoy proved he can come in and play well in a crunch.

San Francisco had also kept former Wisconsin standout Scott Tolzien on the roster and added rookie seventh-round pick B.J. Daniels in April’s draft. San Francisco seemed set with the only issue being who would be Kaepernick’s primary backup.

Now that both McCoy and Tolzien have struggled through the first two preseason games, San Francisco appears to be in a bit of a tough spot when it comes to the quarterback position. Who will step up and win a game or two should Kaepernick go down with injury?

That’s the million-dollar question.

Reports surfaced on Wednesday that the 49ers are interested in veteran Seneca Wallace, who was just recently released by the New Orleans Saints. Wallace has thrown 31 touchdowns compared to 18 interceptions in his 10-year NFL career with Seattle and Cleveland. He is 6-15 in 21 games as a starter during that span.

The castoff fits San Francisco’s mold for a West coast-type guy, but isn’t necessarily the solution ahead of McCoy and Tolzien.

In addition, Daniels performed extremely well in his preseason debut last week and is now in the conversation for the No. 2 quarterback job behind Kaepernick. If Daniels continues to impress in the final two exhibition games, he could actually start the season as the 49ers’ primary backup. The South Florida product has the measurements and skill set to fit what San Francisco has built on offense with Kaepernick at the helm.

That being said, the 49ers are relying on Kaepernick to be that difference maker on offense. Replacing him with any of these four options (should Wallace be added to the mix) for an extended period of time will surely limit their ability to repeat as NFC Champions in 2013.

Much like every Super Bowl contender, if San Francisco loses its starting quarterback for an extended period of time, its championship aspirations will take a major hit.

Wallace would, however, bring experience and previous success to the table. The same thing really cannot be said for the other three options.

As it is, we hear that a visit is imminent and that if Wallace impresses in his workout, the 49ers are likely to sign him. Is it much more than training camp competition at this point? That remains to be seen.

 

Vincent is the head sports editor at eDraft, co-host of eDraft Sports Radio (which airs every Monday and Wednesday from 3-6 p.m. ET) and a fantasy writer for Pro Football Focus. He’s also the news director here at PFC and co-host of Football Debate Central with Ryan Riddle every Friday. He’s also a former league-wide featured columnist at Bleacher Report.