SANTA CLARA – The players had the day off, but the 49ers front office stayed busy with a series of transactions on Thursday.
The team started out by signing versatile quarterback Seneca Wallace to a one-year deal, giving the 49ers five signal-callers for the time being.
Wallace, 33, was released by New Orleans earlier this week and last played for Cleveland from 2010-2011. He spent his previous years in Seattle where he was drafted in 2003.
Despite not suiting up last season, Wallace immediately steps into the competition to back up Colin Kaepernick alongside ex-Browns starter Colt McCoy, veteran No. 3 Scott Tolzien and rookie B.J. Daniels.
Though seventh-rounder Daniels seems assured a roster spot, Wallace’s signing is ominous for McCoy and Tolzien, who have less than stellar numbers this preseason.
The coaching staff has reinforced to the media that the best 53 football players will make the roster, so the flexibility for Wallace to lineup as a pass catcher, halfback, and special teamer gives him a leg up.
Wallace has short notice to prove how much he has left this Sunday if he plays against the Vikings. But a Week One quarterback trio of Kaepernick, Wallace, and Daniels is very much a possibility.
To make room for Wallace, the 49ers waived wide receiver Ricardo Lockette – a close friend of Kaepernick – who was vying for a spot among a crowded receiving corps.
Aside from a brilliant special teams tackle and two drawn penalties in the Broncos game, there wasn’t much else that stood out from him in two preseason contests.
The progress of veterans Austin Collie and Lavelle Hawkins — plus the trade of A.J. Jenkins for Jon Baldwin — didn’t bode well for Lockette to make the squad.
The 27-year-old former NCAA champion sprinter spent last year on the practice squad and was active for two games with the Seahawks in 2011. A Pete Carroll favorite, Lockette may see interest from his former team.
One player who will not see the field this season is safety Darcel McBath, who was placed on injured reserve this afternoon with an undisclosed foot injury suffered last week against the Chiefs.
The four-year veteran was a key special teamer for the 49ers in 2012, appearing in all 16 games and registering seven tackles.
To fill McBath’s roster spot, the team claimed linebacker Joe Holland off waivers from Tampa Bay.
The 25-year-old Purdue product was in camp with the 49ers in 2012 and was briefly on Miami’s practice squad before the Buccaneers signed him to theirs.
Wallace and Holland are expected to practice as 49ers for the first time tomorrow.