Carr signed to take over as 49ers’ No. 2

No player on the 49ers’ roster was more responsible for the team’s second-half 2008 surge that resulted in the “interim” title removed from Mike Singletary’s job description.


Shaun Hill helped steady the 49ers after Singletary would not tolerate J.T. O’Sullivan’s stream of turnovers. Hill rode that momentum to the starting job at the beginning of last season.


But the 49ers always thought they could do better than Hill. Alex Smith replaced him in the starting lineup. And, now, David Carr has bumped Hill out of the No. 2 spot on the 49ers’ depth chart. Carr agreed to a two-year contract with the 49ers Sunday evening, a league source said.


It was considered the 49ers’ race to lose on Friday when Carr arrived to have dinner with Singletary. The Giants had told Carr they wanted him back. But Carr didn’t see any “upside” in returning to serve as Eli Manning’s backup.


Carr attracted attention from the Browns and Cardinals, too. But he ultimately decided a return to California – Carr is a native of Bakersfield – and a spot behind Alex Smith was his best opportunity. Smith enters the final year of his contract.


The 49ers want to feature a power-running game with a vertical-passing threat. Offensive coordinator Jimmy Raye said last year that it’s paramount for the offense to have a quarterback who provides a downfield threat. The 49ers never thought they had that with Hill.


That is why the 49ers made the move for Carr.


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Take it as a good sign that usually-reserved linebacker Patrick Willis allowed his feelings to be known on Twitter about the 49ers’ pursuit of backup quarterback David Carr. The 49ers have always wanted him to be more forceful as a team leader.


Willis expressed dismay the 49ers would go after Carr, whom Willis said was not as good as the three quarterbacks on the 49ers’ roster. He opined that he could understand it if the 49ers went after Michael Vick. But he wondered about what Carr could offer as a 49ers backup.


And don’t believe this was any small issue for those close to Carr. The last thing Carr wanted was to enter locker room that questioned his arrival. But, now, I don’ think it’s an issue. Willis is not a locker room politician. And after hearing word of Carr’s signing, Willis wrote on Twitter that he was “all in for the guy.”


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Singletary and general manager Scot McCloughan said during the NFL Scouting Combine that they wanted to re-sign tackle Tony Pashos. But club sources said the team was always more interested in bringing back Barry Sims. The club considers both Pashos and Sims backups, and Sims was more valuable to the 49ers because of his ability to plug in at either left tackle or right tackle.


The only issue with Sims is the cost. It’s difficult to believe Sims would not re-sign for a backup price tag approaching the $1.8 million he averaged the past two seasons. Pashos signed a three-year, $10.3 million contract Sunday with the Browns.


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Veteran running back Justin Fargas, 30, whom the Raiders released over the weekend, has visits scheduled to meet with the 49ers and Chiefs, the NFL Network reported.


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