49ers keep promising young QB in program

January, 22, 2014
Jan 22
6:00
PM ET
One of the questions facing the San Francisco 49ers this offseason will be who will back up quarterback Colin Kaepernick.

Colt McCoy is an unrestricted free agent. Wednesday, the 49ers secured one possibility when they signed McLeod Bethel-Thompson to a future contract.

Bethel-Thompson has been in the 49ers’ program for the past three months. He was claimed off waivers form Minnesota in October and spent several weeks on the 53-man roster as the third quarterback. He finished the year on the practice squad.

The 49ers like Bethel-Thompson’s potential and he seemed to be a good fit in the locker room and got along well with his teammates. After the NFC title game Sunday, Bethel-Thompson consoled a visibly upset Kaepernick.

The 49ers were not settled on Kaepernick’s backup in training camp and early in the season as they looked at several young quarterbacks. Once they brought in Bethel-Thompson, a San Francisco native, they settled at the position. If the 49ers do bring back McCoy, I could see Bethel-Thompson getting a chance in camp to beat him out.

I can also see the 49ers using a mid-round pick on a quarterback to groom as Kaepernick’s backup. The 49ers have a lot of options and there’s no doubt Bethel-Thompson is one of them.

The 49ers also signed running back Jewel Hampton on Wednesday. They are bringing back their entire eight-man practice squad from 2013.

Bill Williamson | email

ESPN Oakland Raiders reporter

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