NFL: Niners, Carr reach terms on 2-year deal
By Daniel Brown
San Jose Mercury News
David Carr and the San Francisco 49ers agreed to terms on a two-year deal Sunday night, and that’s just fine with linebacker Patrick Willis.
Willis, who had criticized the 49ers’ interest in the veteran quarterback, extended an olive branch after hearing the news.
“I heard that Carr signed. He is my teammate now. Which means I’m all in for the guy,” Willis wrote on his Twitter account. “It’s all about the team. Congrats and welcome aboard.”
An NFL source confirmed the contract agreement, which was first reported by the New York Daily News.
Carr, 30, spent last season as Eli Manning’s backup with the New York Giants. He joins the 49ers as a No. 2 quarterback capable of pushing starter Alex Smith during training camp.
The 49ers made their pitch to the free-agent quarterback Friday night and again Saturday morning in an attempt to fend off Carr’s other suitors, which included the Cleveland Browns and the Arizona Cardinals.
At the time, Willis was less than enthusiastic. Reacting to the 49ers’ interest in Carr, the linebacker wrote: “I’m saying if we going to go get another qb spend money on a difference maker. Like (Michael Vick). My opinion.” He also wrote: “We have 3 qb’s that are better then him. That’s a waste of his time.”
Willis eventually softened his stance. Still, it might make for an awkward introduction. Carr is expected to put his name to the dotted line Monday. The 49ers declined to comment on Carr’s deal until it becomes official.
Once the Willis situation is resolved, the 49ers are eager for the conversations Carr can have elsewhere in the locker room. The eight-year veteran surely understands the frustrations that can come with being the top choice in the NFL draft, which gives him an instant bond with Smith.
Carr, a Bakersfield, Calif., native who starred at Fresno State, also could serve as a mentor to Nate Davis, who is expected to serve another season of apprenticeship as the third quarterback.
Carr’s deal might spell the end of Shaun Hill’s time with the 49ers. Hill, the opening-game starter last season, is scheduled to make $1.5 million this season, the final year of his contract. Hill might be kept to compete for playing time during training camp; he also might be released.
Carr has had an up-and-down journey since being taken with the first overall selection in 2002. He has led the NFL in number of times sacked three times and in fumbles twice.
Still, Carr has shown flashes of talent. In 2006, his final season with the Texans, he led the NFL with a 68.3 completion percentage—just ahead of the Dallas Cowboys’ Tony Romo and the Indianapolis Colts’ Peyton Manning.
The 6-foot-3, 215-pound quarterback has only four starts since leaving the Texans as a free agent after the 2006 season. Carr went 1-3 as Jake Delhomme’s understudy during his only season in Carolina before spending the past two seasons with the Giants.
Though Carr has taken his lumps, the 49ers think he still has enough physical tools to push Smith during training camp. Coach Mike Singletary has said that he “feels good” about Smith as his starter but also likes the idea of a competition.