The 49ers today made a surprise move - parting ways with preseason standout quarterback B.J. Daniels in the hope they can add him to the practice squad on Wednesday. Meanwhile, the team plans to add veteran quarterback John Skelton, who faced the 49ers when he was with the Cardinals, to the 53-man roster, according to two sources.
Skelton, 25, started 17 games for Arizona during the last three seasons and has a 63.0 passer rating. He worked out for the 49ers this month and for the Titans this week. One of his starts last year came against the 49ers. He threw an interception and was sacked four times in a 24-3 loss in October. However, he also earned a victory against the 49ers in 2011, throwing three touchdowns in a 21-19 win. In that game he relieved Kevin Kolb, who was knocked out of the contest early with a concussion.
The 6-6, 250-pound Skelton spent the offseason with the Bengals.
Daniels, meanwhile, was a seventh-round pick in April and showed real promise during the preseason. There was a thought that he could emerge as the 49ers' no. 2 quarterback this season. But it now appears as if Skelton could move into that role ahead of Colt McCoy. In order to sign Daniels to the practice squad, he would first have to clear waivers, which is not a given.
Last month, for instance, Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said his team was eying Daniels, who is similar in stature and maneuverability to Seattle starter Russell Wilson, during the draft.
"We thought he was a nice player and interesting guy to get on the team, and thought a lot of him," Carroll said prior to the 49ers-Seahawks game last month. "We feel like we know him, and 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."
The 49ers also made another move, releasing former Stanford player Owen Marecic and signing linebacker Jermaine Cunningham to a one-year deal.
Cunningham (6-3, 255) was originally selected by the Patriots in the second round (53rd overall) of the 2010 draft. He has played in 36 games (14 starts) recording 67 tackles, 3.5 sacks, two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries. In 2012, he saw action in 12 games (three starts), recording 25 tackles, 2.5 sacks and two fumble recoveries. Cunningham was released by the Patriots on August 31, 2013.
The 49ers signed Marecic on Sept. 17 to play fullback and special teams. He was active for the team's game against the Colts but not the Rams. It was perhaps no coincidence that Marecic's signing coincided with a couple of bad games by fullback Bruce Miller. In contrast, Miller had easily his best game of the season Thursday against the Rams as the 49ers rushed for 219 yards.
Marecic worked out for the 49ers in August after being released by the Browns, who drafted him in the fourth round in 2011. He also played inside linebacker for Harbaugh and defensive coordinator Vic Fangio at Stanford.
-- Matt Barrows