San Francisco 49ers

49ers to watch college QBs next week; Kaepernick return unlikely, Lynch says

Signal callers: From Montana to Kaepernick, these quarterbacks started for the 49ers

Joe Montana's ascension marked the start of glory years for the San Francisco 49ers and a new era of quarterbacks for the team, leading up to the recently departed Colin Kaepernick. Some were great, others not so much, and team fortunes followed s
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Joe Montana's ascension marked the start of glory years for the San Francisco 49ers and a new era of quarterbacks for the team, leading up to the recently departed Colin Kaepernick. Some were great, others not so much, and team fortunes followed s

The 49ers are hitting the road next week to go window shopping for quarterbacks. General manager John Lynch said on KNBR radio that he, personnel chiefs Adam Peters and Martin Mayhew, and quarterbacks coach Rich Scangarello will head to the east coast to watch the consensus top three college passers throw the ball.

The group will be in Chapel Hill, N.C. on Tuesday to watch Tar Heels quarterback Mitchell Trubisky work out. The following day they will have a private throwing session with Clemson's Deshaun Watson. The day after that, Thursday, they will be in South Bend, Ind. for Notre Dame quarterback DeShone Kizer's pro-day workout.

Lynch noted that he and head coach Kyle Shanahan met with each of those players last month at the scouting combine. He said the private workout with Watson on the east coast will be conducted in conjunction with another team.

"We're going to go see these guys, kind of get to know them," Lynch said. "The film speaks for itself. But there's always great value of seeing someone in person, maybe catching something you didn't on fillm."

All of those players also may take an official visit to Santa Clara in the weeks before the April 27 draft; Watson is one of the players who will visit the 49ers, his agent said Friday.

The 49ers signed two free-agent quarterbacks last week, former Chicago Bears Brian Hoyer and Matt Barkley. They are the only two passers on the roster, and the 49ers are expected to take one in the draft at some point.

All of their 2016 quarterbacks, including starter Colin Kaepernick, remain free agents. Lynch wouldn't shut the door on bringing Kaepernick back but said the addition of two other veterans made that scenario unlikely.

"I think the likelihood of that happening has probably gone down significantly," Lynch said. "But we're not going to close our mind or our options on anyone, including him.”

Of the four 49ers quarterbacks on the roster last year, only Kaepernick’s locker has been cleaned out and his name plate removed.

Matt Barrows: @mattbarrows, read more about the team at sacbee.com/sf49ers.

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