The news out of Santa Clara is that David Carr will be meeting with 49ers officials and could sign a deal as soon as tomorrow (Saturday).
Off-guard doesn't even begin to explain it. It's more like that scene in "Final Destination" when that girl gets hit by the bus. One minute she's walking the next - BAM.
What do the 49ers have to gain from this move? Not much. What do they have to lose? Here's a hint, It rhymes with "Bwan Bill."
Clearly, McCloughan is not enamored with Hill's physical tools. McCloughan clearly favors bigger players. He wants big wide receivers, big corners, big lineman, big cheese burgers - you get the picture. Physical tools matter to the 49ers chief personnel evaluator.
The persistent criticism of Hill is that he does not have a strong arm, making him ill-suited to a down-field attack. The way the 49ers offense evolved down the final 6 weeks, passing the football became a priority and Smith proved that, when given time, he could find targets downfield. The 49ers are molding their offense, and it doesn't involve dinking and dunking.
Hence, Carr. Carr has physical tools; that's never been a question with Carr. Much like Smith, the problem is all mental. (See: David Carr Syndrome a.k.a. flinching under imagined pressure due to an excessive number of sacks).
The 49ers don't want to have to change their offense dramatically if Smith goes down, and Carr affords them that luxury.
Carr would also cost less than Hill. Hill signed his two-year deal when he was battling for a starting spot - a job he eventually won. I would imagine that Carr would sign an incentive-laden deal that would only pay him if he performed at a starter's level.
What does this mean for Alex Smith? It looks like he will spend another year with a potentially explosive situation if he begins to slip. How soon will we hear the "Give Carr a chance" chants from the crowds when he has a 3-INT day? It seems as though Alex needs a great environment to thrive in and, whether that is a hinderance or not, the 49ers seem to be throwing another log on the smoldering fire.