Report: 49ers essentially have trade in place for Alex Smith
Now there are solid grounds to cling onto that belief after the San Francisco 49ers reportedly informed other interested teams that they “effectively” found agreed to a trade that will ship out Alex Smith, according to CBS’ Jason La Canfora. However, the trade only becomes official after the new league year begins on March 12.
Both Kansas City Chiefs and Jacksonville Jaguars have been interested in addressing the position. Although the Kansas City Chiefs and Jacksonville Jaguars have the top two draft picks, there aren’t any highly rated quarterbacks in this years’ draft. Both teams could draft a backup quarterback in the later rounds, but need a promising player at the position. The Kansas City Chiefs could certainly use someone who can take over from a disappointing Matt Cassel, while the Jacksonville Jaguars are up for creating competition their 2010 first round-pick, quarterback Blaine Gabbert.
However, the Kansas City Chiefs general manager Dave Caldwell confirmed via text the San Francisco 49ers’ trade partners are “not us.” Though the Jacksonville Jaguars are the likely trade destination for Alex Smith, several teams have been revising their course of action at the quarterback position this offseason.
Alex Smith was a 2005 draft first-round pick by the San Francisco 49ers, who remained unimpressive through his first five seasons before a breakout season under head coach Jim Harbaugh in 2011, leading the team to the NFC Championship Game. The seventh-year veteran Alex Smith remained the San Francisco 49ers’ starting quarterback at the beginning of the 2012 season, leading the team to a 6-2 record; until he went down with a concussion in the first half of the Week 10 matchup against the St. Louis Rams. Second-year pro Colin Kaepernick won great praise for his performance in the next game against the Chicago Bears and Jim Harbaugh stuck with him as the starter for the rest of the season. Colin Kaepernick did not disappoint as he led the San Francisco 49ers into the playoffs – all the way to the Super Bowl Championship, where they suffered a close loss to the Baltimore Ravens.
However, Alex Smith had a remarkable season up to his injury, competing 70.2 percent of his passes for a quarterback rating of 104.1. There was no doubt that Alex Smith would be a starter again next season, but it became increasingly unlikely that the San Francisco 49ers were part of the plan.
Although Alex Smith could have added great depth at the position, he would have served the San Francisco 49ers as a costly backup option. Alex Smith is still under a two-year contract, with a cap hit of at least $9 million counting against each season. Moreover, at 28-year-old, as well as with his experience and recent improvement – Alex Smith wouldn’t have been happy serving a backup role.