We don’t know exactly when it’s going to happen, but it is likely to happen soon: 49ers quarterback Shaun Hill will become ex-49ers quarterback Shaun Hill.
As reported here in the wee hours, the 49ers have given Hill permission to seek a trade. The club is apparently waiting on the arrival of the official, signed David Carr contract before making its next move.
The next move will be either a trade or an outright release. In any event, it seems illogical that the 49ers will provide Hill with a plane ticket to take part in the team’s offseason program, which begins Monday.
Hill does have value, to be sure. But I believe coaches who’ve had him in the past will be most interested in his services with their teams. That’s why I rank these as the most likely destinations for Hill:
1) Detroit Lions: Offensive coordinator Scott Linehan was with the Vikings for three of the four seasons Hill was in Minnesota. The Lions have Matthew Stafford, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2009 draft. Hill would fit in well there – at least much better than veteran Daunte Culpepper, the team’s backup a year ago. I see no downside to this for either side.
2) San Diego Chargers: Head coach Norv Turner was partly responsible for bringing Hill to the 49ers because of a recommendation from Brad Johnson. Hill never stepped on the field for the 49ers in 2006 when Turner was the offensive coordinator. The only reason I mention the Chargers is because it looks as if third-stringer Charlie Whitehurst might sign an offer sheet with either the Cardinals or Seahawks. But with Billy Volek as the backup, would Hill have a chance to become Philip Rivers’ backup?
3) Chicago Bears: It’s no big secret Mike Martz and Shaun Hill weren’t exactly pals during their time together with the 49ers. Hill was immediately removed from the quarterback competition after a week of training camp. But when Hill was forced down Martz’s throat toward the end of the year, they seemed to develop some mutual respect as the 49ers’ offense became much more efficient. After he was fired as 49ers offensive coordinator, Martz remarked about how he underestimated Hill’s ability to quickly process information at the line of scrimmage. Martz is now offensive coordinator with the Bears, who don’t have much behind starter Jay Cutler. This one is difficult to gauge. It’s probably a long shot.
Others: The Cardinals are not comfortable with their quarterback situation with Matt Leinart as the unchallenged starter. They’re investigating bringing in another quarterback. And Seattle lost its No. 2 quarterback when Seneca Wallace was traded to the Browns this week.
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