Some folks are saying it's likely the 49ers sign Daunte Culpepper for a one-year deal, others are saying that they're in no hurry to put pen to paper. Whatever the case, fans of the team need not worry about having him as their starting quarterback. That might sound a little bad to say, but it's the truth: he's far away from being at his best. He's far away from being on the downside of his career.
Culpepper in the NFL recently has been unsuccessful. Culpepper in the UFL recently has been unsuccessful. He's not starter material, but he does know how to play the position, and at the very least, he has more to offer by his veteran presence alone than Jeremiah Masoli and McLeod Bethel-Thompson do combined. If he's in shape, then he's athletic and has a good arm, with somewhat questionable decision-making. We're talking, of course, about his decision-making on the field, not his dietary choices.
So even though Alex Smith didn't show a whole lot in the first preseason game, and Colin Kaepernick certainly didn't look ready to take over the starting job, it's a two-man race. Culpepper isn't going to start, he isn't going to compete to start, and he might not even be signed. He's a veteran guy who might be able to help the young guy, and might be able to take the field in a pinch.
He's also another body to get hit if the 49ers need to save Smith and Kaepernick in the preseason. No more, no less.