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Wednesday, August 6, 2008
Mailbag: On the 49ers' quarterbacks


Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

Puntorule from Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., writes: Has there been any updates on the status of Bryant Johnson? Also, do you think the quarterback situation could be positive in terms of having three players that can all be starters or is it too bad to have this kind of competition where none of the quarterbacks are getting enough reps with the first team?

Mike Sando: The 49ers used the word "tweak" to describe Johnson's hamstring. I take that to mean this is a minor injury and the team wants to play it safe.

The quarterback situation does not strike me as a positive. The 49ers basically have three quarterbacks who wouldn't start for any other team in the division. At least two of the Rams' quarterbacks would start for the 49ers. At least two of the Cardinals' quarterbacks would start for the 49ers. And so on. The 49ers would like to see one quarterback rise up and take the job. That could happen in the exhibition games.


Mike from Tacoma, Wash., writes: Hey Mike, great to have your NFC West analysis again. Do the players or coaches feel it's an advantage having Hawks camp here in the Seattle area this year as opposed to the hubs of hell in Cheney? They gotta appreciate the mild temps but does the team worry about conditioning? Thanks

Mike Sando: Mike Holmgren always felt it was an advantage to get away and practice on the other side of the state. Most players probably appreciate being closer to home (I have not polled them, but that would be my feeling).


Brandon from Bellevue, Wash., writes: I can't help but be a big fan of Jordan Kent. His ability to stretch the field is very encouraging. However, I still feel that he is 1 or 2 years away from being a factor in the passing game. Furthermore, I am afraid that if we keep him on the practice squad he will get snatched up by another team. What are your thoughts?

Mike Sando: I see Kent being on the bubble at this point. Seattle could justify keeping six receivers. The Seahawks could keep seven more readily if they decided to go the PUP route with Deion Branch, but that seems unlikely. Branch, Bobby Engram, Nate Burleson, Ben Obomanu, Logan Payne and Courtney Taylor could make it tough for Kent to earn a spot. The Seahawks do like Kent, but if they are convinced he'll become a top-flight player in a year or two, they will find a way to keep him on their roster. If not, it's tough to complain about losing him.


Eugene from Fremont, Calif., writes: If Carolina decides to make a huge mistake and trade Steve Smith what would the 49ers need to send Carolina's way in order to get him?

Mike Sando: That is one of those double-speculation questions. I do not have a good answer. However, former Panthers beat reporter Pat Yasinskas says he doesn't expect a trade at this point. Remember, too, that the Panthers would have to account for quite a bit of prorated signing-bonus money -- more than $16 million, as I see it -- against current and future caps.