Who will stay, who will go? 49ers' five most intriguing free-agency decisions
Some NFL coaches would have kept their opponent – and reporters and fans and fantasy football geeks – guessing until game day.
Kyle Shanahan, however, came right out with it on Wednesday: C.J. Beathard will start for the 49ers Sunday against the Seattle Seahawks.
Why let the cat out of the bag early?
“One, it would be exhausting to talk about this every day,” Shanahan said. “Two, I don’t see this being a competitive advantage. If one guy was totally different quarterback than the other – and they’re both different – but if one guy’s an option quarterback and does all this other stuff and can’t move at all, then that’s something you keep a secret, two totally different options. But (here) you have two guys with similar traits … and that’s why I don’t see it being a huge advantage.”
Shanahan said there were a number of factors that went into his decision, including that newcomer Jimmy Garoppolo still is in the middle of learning the offensive system and that Beathard is coming off his best game and the team’s first win.
The offense also is clicking at the moment and the team would have to adjust to accommodate Garoppolo, who spent his bye week cramming Shanahan’s offense.
“Jimmy gets more and more ready each week,” Shanahan said. “Is Jimmy going to be the best he can? I mean, that’s impossible. He just hasn’t been here long enough. I think he’ll get an opportunity to be better each week. I don’t think we’re going to see Jimmy’s best football, to be fair to him, until next year.”
Marsh view – The 49ers made their second waiver claim of the week on Wednesday, this time grabbing Cassius Marsh, a defensive end-outside linebacker whom the Patriots let go Tuesday.
Marsh, 25, spent the previous three years with the Seattle Seahawks, who traded him to New England in September for fifth- and seventh-round picks. Marsh played in nine games for the Patriots, but did not make much impact. He had 14 tackles and one sack.
Marsh lined up at defensive end and outside linebacker in his most recent season in Seattle, which plays the same defense as the 49ers. He also was a mainstay on special teams. The 49ers have played both Eli Harold and Dekoda Watson at outside linebacker this year.
On Tuesday, the 49ers claimed defensive tackle Sheldon Day off of waivers from the Jacksonville Jaguars. He will wear No. 96 for San Francisco. The 49ers have an open roster spot to accommodate Marsh, but would need to create another if they bring Tank Carradine back from injured reserve.
Et cetera – Safety Adrian Colbert (thumb) was the only injured 49er who did not practice Wednesday. If, as expected, he cannot play against the Seahawks, Antone Exum likely would start at free safety.
▪ Both receiver Trent Taylor (ribs) and running back Raheem Mostert (shoulder) were limited and wore blue, no-contact jerseys. George Kittle (ankle) and Solomon Thomas (knee) also were limited.
▪ Tackle Joe Staley and Elvis Dumervil were given veteran rest days.