Niners trade Rattay to Tampa Bay

Tim Rattay's days in San Francisco are over. The 49ers beat the NFL trade deadline Tuesday by shipping the veteran quarterback to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for an undisclosed draft pick, leaving the Niners to go forward in 2005 with three young and inexperienced QBs on their roster.

The Niners, who have been entertaining deals for the sixth-year veteran since he was demoted to second string behind rookie Alex Smith two weeks ago, were able to swing a deal with a team desperate for veteran help at quarterback.

Tampa Bay starter Brian Griese was injured during Sunday's victory over Miami and is believed to have torn knee ligaments that could keep him out for the remainder of the season.

The 49ers were holding out to get more than a late-round draft pick for Rattay, who has 16 NFL starts, including the first four games this season. Neither team has disclosed the terms of the draft pick involved, but 49ers coach Mike Nolan will discuss the trade with reporters later this afternoon.

Rattay would immediately become the most experienced healthy quarterback on the Tampa Bay roster. Third-year veteran Chris Simms, who took over when Griese was hurt Sunday, has two NFL starts. Second-year player Luke McCown is Tampa Bay's No. 3 quarterback.

Rattay had a 70.3 passer rating in four starts this year for the 49ers, completing 57.7 percent of his passes with five touchdowns and six interceptions.

Rattay, a seventh-round pick in 2000, started nine games last season and beat out Smith in training camp this season. But after producing a career-best 141.9 passer rating in a season-opening victory over St. Louis, he performed poorly and was benched in Week 5 as coach Mike Nolan opted to go with his high-priced rookie, who was the No. 1 overall selection in the NFL draft.

Rattay leaves San Francisco with a career passer rating of 81.6. In 32 games with the 49ers, he completed 356 of 586 passes (60.8 percent) for 3,941 yards, 24 touchdowns and 18 interceptions.

Third-year veteran Ken Dorsey, whose NFL experience consists of eight appearances and seven starts last year, now slides into the backup role behind Smith. Second-year player Cody Pickett, who played in one game as a rookie last year, becomes the 49ers' No. 3 quarterback.


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