49ers Blog and Q&A

News, notes and reader questions about the San Francisco 49ers

March 11, 2014
There's been a trade: 49ers deal for QB Blaine Gabbert

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The 49ers, who three years ago took a look at the eventual 10th pick in the draft, Blaine Gabbert, have acquired him from Jacksonville for a sixth-round selection, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter. Gabbert presumably will take the place of free agent Colt McCoy as Colin Kaepernick's main backup.

"We thought highly of Blaine as an early entry into the 2011 NFL draft," said general manager Trent Baalke, who chose Aldon Smith seventh overall that year. "He is a high-character individual that will be given every opportunity to develop within our system and we are looking forward to working with him."

Jim Harbaugh attended Gabbert's pro day workout at Missouri in 2011. He's said on several occasions that he likes big, athletic and mobile quarterbacks. That's the case with Gabbert (6-4, 235). Harbaugh reputation as a quarterback whisperer will be put to the test by Gabbert, however. His accuracy dipped below 50 percent last season before he tore his labrum in his non-throwing shoulder and was replaced by Chad Henne. He's thrown more interceptions -- 24 to 22 -- in two and half seasons in Jacksonville, and both his average per completion -- 5.6 yards -- and his passer rating -- 66.4 -- are low. Jacksonville was 5-22 in his starts.

It's notable that Kaepernick, a second-round pick in 2011, has said that he keeps track of the quarterbacks taken ahead of him. Gabbert not only is on that list, he's now on Kaepernick's team. The only other quarterback on the roster is McLeod Bethel-Thompson. The 49ers are now expected to have 11 picks in the upcoming draft. The deal also includes a conditional draft pick next year that is contingent on how much Gabbert plays in 2014.

Gabbert has one year remaining on his original deal with the Jaguars. However, the 49ers are expected to restructure it.

-- Matt Barrows



MATTHEW BARROWS

Matt was born in Blacksburg, Va., and attended the University of Virginia. He graduated in 1995, went to Northwestern for a journalism degree a year later, and got his first job at a South Carolina daily in 1997. He joined The Bee as a Metro reporter in 1999 and started covering the 49ers in 2003. His favorite player of all time is Darrell Green.

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