SANTA CLARA Seahawks coach Pete Carroll last month said his team was eyeing B.J. Daniels during the draft when the 49ers swooped in and grabbed the quarterback in the seventh round.
On Wednesday, Carroll and the Seahawks returned the favor.
Seattle claimed Daniels, one of the standouts of the 49ers' preseason, off waivers, and he's now part of Seattle's 53-man roster. The 49ers released Daniels on Tuesday to make room for John Skelton, but they had hoped to add him to their practice squad.
The quarterback moves were a surprise because Daniels outplayed the team's other reserve quarterbacks this summer and the 49ers mostly beat up on Skelton when he was the Cardinals' starting quarterback.
The 49ers won the three games Skelton started against them by a combined score of 85-17, and they sacked him nine times.
But Skelton's best NFL game was in 2011 against the 49ers when, while replacing the injured Kevin Kolb, he threw for three touchdowns and had a 106.5 passer rating. The Cardinals won 21-19, one of three losses by the 49ers that season.
"We've always been impressed with him," coach Jim Harbaugh said. "Preparing for him, even in the games where we prepared against him when he was starting, we were impressed with those games as well."
Harbaugh said the 49ers needed more veteran depth behind starter Colin Kaepernick. Skelton has made 17 NFL starts, while Colt McCoy, Kaepernick's top backup for the time being, has started 21 games.
"Good stature in the pocket. Experienced guy. He's played, won games and been in those battles," Harbaugh said of Skelton. "Had an excellent workout when he was here a few weeks back. One of the better workouts I've seen from a quarterback in one of those type of workout environments."
That workout was on Sept. 3. Skelton flew to Nashville on Tuesday to work out for the Titans, and he suspected the chance of another team signing him prompted the 49ers to make the move.
At 6-foot-6 and 250 pounds, Skelton is big but certainly not mobile like Kaepernick, Daniels and other quarterbacks with whom Harbaugh has had success in college and in the NFL. Skelton said there were some read-option elements in Arizona's offense but that he probably wouldn't be asked to do much of that with the 49ers.
"The great thing about being in this offense is they're going to play to the strength of the quarterback," he said. "I'm fairly confident I'm not going to do the type of stuff that Kap can do."
Daniels appears to be a natural fit in Seattle because he seems similar to starter Russell Wilson.
They are the same height 5-10 5/8 inches but make up for their low profile with strong arms and an ability to scramble away from trouble.
The 49ers originally gave Daniels a jack-of-all-trades role that included running back, receiver and punt returner. When the preseason began, however, it became clear he was talented enough to play quarterback only. He threw three touchdown passes and finished the summer session with a higher passer rating than Kaepernick, McCoy and Scott Tolzien.
Before the 49ers and Seahawks played last month, Carroll said that during the draft the Seahawks suspected that Daniels was "under the radar a little bit" and hoped to pick him up late or as a free agent.
"We thought he was a nice player and an interesting guy to get on the team," Carroll said. "Thought a lot of him. We feel like we know him, so if he has a chance to play, at least we have some background in him. We studied him very carefully and all that. But we think a lot of his ability."
Read Matthew Barrows' blogs and archives at www.sacbee.com/sf49ers and listen for his reports Tuesdays on ESPN Radio 1320.