Carr a 49er after all, Pashos off to Browns

The 49ers' on-again, off-again courtship of free agent quarterback David Carr, the one-time #1 overall pick of the Houston Texans and most recently the backup QB of the New York Giants, was on again on Sunday, and they finally got their man, making Carr their first free agent acquisition of the off-season.

Carr left the 49ers' Santa Clara complex without a deal yesterday and blew off a scheduled media session, and was reportedly set to visit the Arizona Cardinals next, but his agent and the 49ers were able to agree on a two-year contract for undisclosed terms.

As I wrote yesterday, signing Carr to be Alex Smith's backup makes sense for San Francisco from the standpoint of having all three quarterbacks (last year's 5th-rounder Nate Davis will remain the third on the depth chart) having similar skills in terms of mobility and arm strength. Offensive coordinator Jimmy Raye wants all of his QBs to be able to execute rollouts and bootlegs and also to be able to hit the play-action bomb once the running game has been established.

Now that Carr has indeed signed, we should expect Shaun Hill, the current backup, to be released in short order. Coach Mike Singletary will not keep four QBs on the 53-man roster and Hill does not have the arm to throw the sideline outs – much less the bombs – that Raye's offense requires of its passers.

In other news, as expected, free agent OT Tony Pashos has indeed officially made the 49ers his former team. What was surprising; though, was that he chose to sign with the Cleveland Browns, when most people figured he would follow Chris Foerster, his line coach in Baltimore and San Francisco, to Washington.

There could've been several reasons Pashos chose the Browns over the Redskins. Maybe the Browns offered him a starting job whereas Washington refused to make that commitment. Perhaps Pashos felt more comfortable in the AFC, where he's spent the majority of his career with the Ravens and Jacksonville Jaguars. Most likely however – as is usually the case in these affairs – it was about the money. The Browns gave Pashos $10.3 million for three years, and that's a nice hunk of change for a guy who started one game last year before going on Injured Reserve with a broken shoulder blade.

Pashos is certainly not an elite level player. A stronger run blocker than pass protector, he's a marginal starter, who like a lot of guys in the league, is good enough to start for a mediocre team (and the Browns these past few years obviously qualify) but probably not so for a contender.

The 49ers were never going to count on Pashos to be anything other than a reserve, and because he's strictly a right tackle and not versatile enough to play both sides, he's not a big loss for them, outside of his locker room influence. There are several guys on the market that they could look at to replace him including Mark Tauscher (formerly of the Green Bay Packers), Brandon Gorin (formerly of the Denver Broncos), Levi Jones (formerly of the Redskins), and a host of others who are restricted free agents. San Francisco will get a compensatory pick for losing Pashos, but at what round of the draft hasn't been determined yet.

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