The San Francisco 49ers made an interesting late-season addition by signing Josh Rosen off the Buccaneers’ practice squad. 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan explained the team needed depth with Jimmy Garoppolo unlikely to play again this season along with the injury to Nick Mullens. Rosen was at the top of the list of potentially available quarterbacks, but he had to agree to join the Niners given he was already on the Buccaneers practice squad.
“If there’s something out there, we should probably try to do it,” Shanahan told KNBR, via 49ersWebZone.com. “The first thing you want to do is just get someone who’s available right away because you can’t just take people off other people’s practice squads unless they agree to come, so you start to talk about our list of free agents who are out there on the street, as we say.”
Rosen Will Be a Free Agent in 2021
According to Spotrac, Rosen will make $88,236 for being with the Niners for two games and will become a free agent this offseason. Rosen may have been added for depth but Shanahan admitted the quarterback has some intrigue for the future given he is just two years removed from being a top-10 pick.
“Everyone gets evaluated that way,” Shanahan added. “But the way I’m looking at it is the way I just told you in terms of we needed to bring (in) a guy. For it to be a guy who was a first-round pick just [two years ago], that’s a bonus. So, I’m excited to have a guy in here with that ability that we are going to look at.”
Lynch on Rosen’s Future: ‘We’ll See Where it Goes’
NFL teams have been a little reluctant to sign players off a team’s practice squad given the ongoing pandemic, and 49ers general manager John Lynch admitted there was some hesitation. Lynch added Rosen’s potential was too good to pass up leaving the door open for the quarterback to be on the roster in 2021.
“I know from scouting Josh and scouting him hard through the process (of the 2018 draft), intelligence is one of his top attributes,” Lynch told KNBR, per 49ersWebZone.com. “He’s incredibly smart, and he’s working incredibly hard with (quarterbacks coach) Shane Day, (passing-game coordinator) Mike LaFleur, with Kyle, with everybody to try to get a package, at least, that he can run in an emergency. We’re appreciative to Josh in having faith in us. And it really is a nice little chance to take a look at a very talented player, and we’ll see where it goes from there. But right now, it’s pedal to the metal trying to learn our system.”
Garoppolo Is the Only 49ers Quarterback Under Contract for 2021
The 49ers head into 2021 with a lot of uncertainty at quarterback. Shanahan has publicly vouched for Garoppolo’s future, but he is the only quarterback currently under contract for the Niners in 2021. Even if the Niners go with Garoppolo as their starter in 2021, the team will need to make a decision on a backup, at the very least, with Nick Mullens and C.J. Beathard both heading to free agency.
One intriguing scenario would be for the Niners to re-sign Rosen and draft a quarterback to put pressure on Garoppolo to take a step forward next season. The 49ers could still have faith in Garoppolo as they insist, but the quarterback has struggled to stay healthy making adding another signal-caller a top offseason priority. Shanahan praised Rosen for being willing to leave a playoff team to sign with the Niners.
“For Josh to be willing to come here, especially leaving a place that he was in, with a team that’s most likely going to the playoffs and maybe can so some stuff after, that was exciting for us,” Shanahan noted, per 49ersWebZone.com. “And to also know that we got a guy in here who did get drafted in the first round, who’s got some ability with his arm, it was exciting.