The David Carr-to-the-49ers sentiment is gaining a lot of momentum as free-agency hits the 12-hour mark.
A league source says, “It’s the 49ers’ to lose.”
And if the 49ers sign Carr – and it’s looking as if that’s a strong possibility – that could spell the end for backup Shaun Hill, who is scheduled to make $1.5 million in base salary in the final year of his contract.
Carr has spent the past two seasons with the New York Giants. One source said there’s “no upside” for Carr to return as Eli Manning’s backup. The Cardinals were thought to be a potential suitor, but they might believe a starter could get released or acquired in a trade.
A job with the 49ers is considered to be the best fit for Carr, a native of
Alex Smith is slated to be the 49ers’ starter, but Carr could put him into position to step in if Smith struggles. Also, Smith is beginning the final year of his contract. He will probably only be retained for 2011 if he improves upon his play of 2010 and asserts himself as the No. 1 starter into the future.
As productive as Hill has been as the 49ers’ quarterback, the organization has never been in full support of him because of what the club perceives to be his physical limitations. The 49ers want to feature a power-running game with a downfield passing game. But Hill’s forte is not making vertical throws.
This move has no significant impact on quarterback Nate Davis, a fifth-round draft pick last year. The 49ers are content to bring him along slowly and give the raw youngster plenty of time to develop.
Carr, who turns 31 in July, is scheduled to visit the 49ers this weekend, the source said. The 49ers would neither confirm nor deny the scheduled visit.
UPDATE: Carr is scheduled to visit the 49ers this evening and Saturday, reports Cardinals beat man Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic.
* * *
Two teams have expressed interest in 49ers free-agent tackle Barry Sims, but no offers have been made. Sims is expected to sign a deal in the “second wave” of free agency. The 49ers remain interested in Sims as a swing tackle — a backup who can play either side. He played well at left tackle after Joe Staley was injured. The only question is whether the 49ers will exceed a minimum salary for Sims’ services. Theoretically, Adam Snyder could also fill that role as a backup at both spots. But until the 49ers actually add someone to the mix (most likely in the draft), Snyder is still their starter at right tackle.
* * *