NFL: Carr leaves 49ers camp without a deal; Willis questions interest
By Daniel Brown
San Jose Mercury News
Free-agent quarterback David Carr left 49ers headquarters Saturday without a contract. For now, his souvenirs from Santa Clara include a few barbs from All-Pro linebacker Patrick Willis.
Willis questioned the 49ers’ interest in Carr with several pointed comments on his Twitter account. In one post, Willis wrote: “I’m saying if we going to go get another qb spend money on a difference maker. Like (Michael Vick). My opinion.”
In another: “We have 3 qb’s that are better then him. That’s a waste of his time.”
The 49ers had no comment on Willis’ postings other than to say they believed they were legitimately sent by the player and not someone posing under his name.
After the initial burst of critical comments, the linebacker struck a more conciliatory tone in subsequent posts. Willis posted that he would embrace Carr if he signed with the team and that he backs the 49ers’ decision. “I apologize if I hurt some feelings,” he wrote.
Whether Willis will share a locker room with Carr remains in question. The quarterback departed the 49ers’ facility about 2:30 p.m. Saturday after their talks went at least two hours longer than scheduled but came up short of a contract agreement.
Carr had been expected to address the Bay Area media at 12:30 p.m. but left town without comment. He rushed off because of what a team spokesman called “a prior commitment.”
Carr might be on his way to visit other suitors. The Arizona Cardinals and Cleveland Browns have interest, as does his most recent employer, the New York Giants.
The 49ers view the eight-year veteran as a backup option for starter Alex Smith. The No. 1 overall pick in 2002, Carr spent the past two seasons backing up Eli Manning in New York.
Because of starting experience, Carr could give Smith a push during training camp. Coach Mike Singletary said recently that he “feels good” with Smith as his starter but likes keeping the situation competitive.
Carr would likely replace Shaun Hill on the roster, with Nate Davis remaining in his role as third quarterback.
For now, it appears Carr will weigh other options. The Cleveland Plain Dealer noted that Mike Holmgren, the new Browns president, has aggressively pursued Carr before. In 2007, he tried to lure the quarterback to Seattle before Carr chose the Carolina Panthers. Holmgren said Friday that the Browns are “actively looking at quarterbacks” but did not rule out keeping Brady Quinn or Derek Anderson.
In Arizona, the Cardinals need depth in the wake of Kurt Warner’s retirement. Questions remain about Matt Leinart’s ability to take the reins of the two-time-defending NFC West champions.
A 49ers spokesman said general manager Scot McCloughan would not comment on the Carr negotiations, noting that the talks remain ongoing.