Responding to one fan who asked him why he chose the 49ers, Carr Tweeted, "I'm so amped to get going, trying to change some opinions about my career, trying to prove myself and to the fans of the NFL [that] I not only belong but can play at a HIGH level."
Carr also revealed that 49ers star LB Patrick Willis reached out to him a week ago after making critical comments on Twitter upon finding out that San Francisco was pursuing Carr and that the two have spoken and cleared the air.
"We had a great talk," Carr wrote, adding, "I admire his passion for his teammates, but I believe I can help this team. I'm sure Patrick is not the only player who will be thinking ‘What's this guy got?' I told him that… I can be the difference for a team. I believe in my heart I'm ready. Patrick and I have one thing in common - we will do all that is needed to bring another championship to the 49ers." That doesn't sound like towel-waver talk to me.
Of course ultimately it's actions, not words that matter in the NFL. Still, the Niners will be paying Carr a hefty sum (reportedly a two year deal for $6.25M plus another $1.87M in incentives) for a reason. Even if they won't admit it publically, they want Carr to spur Smith to work even harder to achieve his potential. The newest 49er sure sounds like he'll be ready to compete for a starting job in training camp, which is exactly the attitude that Head Coach Mike Singletary demands of all his reserves. The question will be if Smith, a notorious slow starter in camp, will be prepared to hold him off.
One guy that neither Smith nor Carr will have to worry about competing with is Shaun Hill, whom the 49ers have given permission to seek a trade in the hopes that they can get something for him before letting him go. Hill, who's been a tremendous locker room presence wherever he's been, should have several suitors, though it's doubtful any of them will pursue him until he hits the street.
In other news…
49ers General Manager Scot McCloughan has repeatedly stated that he won't be a big player in the free agent market this year. However, that doesn't mean that the team isn't on the lookout for a few choice veterans here and there to bolster their depth. The team went after Carr because the guys upstairs believe him to be an upgrade – at least physically – over Hill and a better fit for Jimmy Raye's offense. They had blocking tight end Anthony Becht over for a visit as well, though he opted to re-sign with the Arizona Cardinals.
Now comes word that two more veteran free agents have trips to Santa Clara scheduled next week. Akin Ayodele is 30-years old inside linebacker and an eight year veteran of the Miami Dolphins, Dallas Cowboys and Jacksonville Jaguars. He's been a starter for virtually his whole career, but hasn't been as impactful or productive the past couple of seasons as the Dolphins would've liked and it's time for him to make the transition to being a valuable reserve.
That the 49ers are interested in him signals two things – one that they're not all that impressed with the crop of ILBs in the draft and two, that they still view LB Scott McKillop, last year's fifth round pick out of Pittsburgh as more of a special teams demon than someone who can make plays from scrimmage. It is a bit odd to see the team pursue Ayodele considering that they just re-signed LB Matt Wilhelm, but the team is looking to cover all their bases in case starter Takeo Spikes goes down again.
Chester Pitts meanwhile is also 30 and also an eight year veteran. Drafted in the second round by the Texans in 2002, Pitts started his first game as a rookie and the next 113 after that, before finally being struck by the injury bug last year. A knee ailment felled him after the second game of the year and Pitts underwent microfracture surgery, ending his season. Primarily a left guard throughout his career, Pitts is versatile enough to play left tackle and smart enough to move to right guard. He would be an upgrade over Tony Wragge as a reserve and could push starting guards David Baas and Chilo Rachal as well.
Finally, the NFL Network reported that Singletary will be in attendance next week while the notorious Adam "Pacman" Jones works out for coaches and scouts, hoping to impress someone enough to get one last shot in the league. I would think it's the longest of long shots that Jones winds up with the Niners, but maybe Singletary thinks that if he can turn TE Vernon Davis into a team leader, he can rehabilitate anyone.