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49ers shuffle QBs: Cutting Davis, signing ex-Raven Smith

SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- The San Francisco 49ers waived third-string quarterback Nate Davis on Monday, just more than a year after drafting him in the fifth round out of Ball State. Shortly after announcing they had parted ways with Davis, the team said it signed quarterback Troy Smith to a one-year deal.

Coach Mike Singletary had been openly frustrated with Davis' slow development and work ethic despite the quarterback's dyslexia, which makes it difficult for him to grasp the playbook. Singletary hinted after Thursday night's preseason victory over San Diego that Davis was a question mark to make the team, but he was still around Friday when the Niners trimmed their roster to the 53-player limit.

The move was made Monday as San Francisco prepares for its opener against the NFC West rival Seattle Seahawks, but it was announced hours after Singletary addressed the media.

The 49ers already have starter Alex Smith and backup David Carr, two former No. 1 overall picks. Singletary had said they could get by with only two quarterbacks, but opted to add Smith. He was a fifth-round draft pick by the Baltimore Ravens in 2007 and has appeared in 14 games with two starts in three seasons. The Ravens cut Smith on Saturday.

Smith, 26, is 48 for 89 for 558 yards in his career with three touchdowns and one interception.

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While Davis' potential had some believing he might push Alex Smith as soon as this season, Singletary publicly expressed disappointment with Davis' progress after the second preseason game against Minnesota on Aug. 22.

On Friday, Singletary said Davis was "working at it" and beginning to grasp the amount of effort it takes to be prepared for an NFL season.

"It's really important that he really understands the skill set he has to have as a quarterback and not just sit over there on Sundays and wait for the offseason to come," Singletary said during the Friday conference call. "I really want him to contribute, hopefully this year."

It won't be with the 49ers as it turns out.

Davis never played a regular-season snap last year, when San Francisco finished 8-8 to end a franchise-worst stretch of six straight losing seasons. The team is trying to snap a seven-year playoff drought.

In four exhibition games, Davis completed 23 of 44 passes for 301 yards and one touchdown. He was sacked four times for 27 lost yards and had a 62.8 quarterback rating.

Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press

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