49ers release Nate Davis, sign Troy Smith

Nate Davis (AP/Donna McWilliam)

Quarterback Nate Davis survived the 49ers' final roster cuts last Friday but is released on Monday in a curious move. Former Heisman Trophy winner Troy Smith is signed.

Three days after making their final cuts to reach the 53-man limit, the San Francisco 49ers curiously released No. 3 quarterback Nate Davis on Monday. No reason was given for the move, but on its Twitter account, the team said it had signed quarterback Troy Smith.

Davis' position on the team had been tenuous since he played in an Aug. 22 preseason game against the Minnesota Vikings. After the game, coach Mike Singletary was critical of Davis, saying, "I don't think he's put himself in a position to really compete."

In the 49ers' final preseason game Thursday night against the San Diego Chargers, Davis was 11 of 22 passing for 103 yards and two interceptions. After the game, Singletary said Davis' status as the third-strong quarterback would be "a topic of conversation" among coaches before roster cuts.

Davis position looked safe when he was not among the team's roster cuts last Friday.

Smith, 26, was cut by the Baltimore Ravens on Saturday. The former Heisman Trophy winner from Ohio State was a fifth-round draft pick by the Ravens in 2007 and appeared in 14 games, with two starts. He completed 48 of 89 passes for 558 yards, three touchdowns and one interception.

News of Davis' released was first reported by Michael Lombardi of NFL Network.

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