The 49ers will have at least one quarterback when training-camp practices begin on Friday. The team completed a four-year deal with second-round draft pick Colin Kaepernick this morning.
In fact, deals are in place for every one of the team's 10 draft picks, including seventh overall pick Aldon Smith who inked his four-year deal at 8 a.m. Under the new collective bargaining agreement, all draft picks sign four-year deals. Teams have the option of extending first rounders like Smith to a fifth year.
The most crucial signee was perhaps Kaepernick. While Alex Smith is expected to sign his one-year contract offer on Friday, neither he nor any veteran free-agent pickup will be able to hit the practice field until the new league year begins on the afternoon of Aug. 4. Smith would be able to sit in on meetings and watch practice, but all physical activity is prohibited.
The same rule would apply to any other free-agent quarterback the 49ers might acquire in the near future. Meanwhile, veteran quarterback David Carr has been informed that he will be released today, which means that Kaepernick currently is the only quarterback at training camp. Undrafted rookie Jeremiah Masoli, who played quarterback in college, is being converted to running back by the 49ers.
Today's training-camp activities will be limited to meetings, physicals and a conditioning test. The first practice is tomorrow. The only way the 49ers can bring in a veteran quarterback for that practice is via a trade. The team, of course, also can sign more undrafted quarterbacks, and that likely will be the rout the 49ers pursue.
-- Matt Barrows