Jim Harbaugh must have a plan in place for the San Francisco 49ers’ latest move. Reports are out saying that the team has traded a sixth-round pick to the Jacksonville Jaguars for quarterback Blaine Gabbert. Gabbert played in just three games last season for the Jags, throwing for 481 yards and just one touchdown to go with seven interceptions. He now goes cross country to become Colin Kaepernick’s backup for the Niners.
Gabbert had a great career in college at Missouri but has been a major disappointment at the pro level with 22 touchdown passes and 24 interceptions. It became obvious that Gabbert was in over his head with the Jaguars as they hoped he would be their franchise quarterback for years to come. He now goes to a situation where he can sit on the bench and learn from Harbaugh as they tried to revive his career. It won’t be easy though.
Gabbert would need Kaepernick to get hurt before he can throw another NFL pass but that could be the best thing for him. The pressure he was under in Jacksonville may have thrown off his game some even if that isn’t a valid excuse. He is just 24 years old and will turn 25 during the 2014 season. There was enough there that he was a top-ten pick in 2011. He was selected over Kaepernick along with Andy Dalton in that draft in the first round. Gabbert’s career so far would be described as a bust without any doubt at all.
Harbaugh must be thinking that he can fix Gabbert and turn him into a functional backup quarterback in the NFL. The price tag to get Gabbert though was worth making the move. It could be a very tall task to rebuild the confidence of a young quarterback but if he is successful, it just gives San Francisco another weapon in case Kaepernick were to go down with injury. It must be noted that Kaepernick’s style of play could lead to more injuries as his career goes on. Gabbert could be needed sooner than later and maybe that’s why Harbaugh wanted to make the trade to begin the process of getting him ready for the next step of his career in San Francisco.