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Report: 49ers will try to trade Alex Smith

49ers quarterback Kaepernick and back-up quarterback Smith throw during practice for the Super Bowl in New Orleans Reuters

Last week, we reported that 49ers quarterback Alex Smith will ask to be released before the start of free agency, given the rise of new starter Colin Kaepernick.  Before that happens, the 49ers will try to see if they can find a new suitor for him — and get some value in return.

Adam Schefter of ESPN reports that the 49ers will try to trade Smith.  Per Schefter, the Niners believe there will be suitors, given that plenty of teams need quarterbacks.  Schefter specifically mentions the Chiefs and Browns as possible trade options.

But teams needed quarterbacks last year, and there was no land rush for Smith, even though he was a free agent and had the best season of his career in 2011.  This year, however, there are fewer high-potential quarterbacks in the draft pool.

Still, trading Smith would require his new team to pay $8.5 million in 2013 — and also to give something of value to the Niners.  The new team may want to renegotiate the contract, and Smith may not be willing to do that.

Actually, Smith may think he could get more than $8.5 million in 2013 if he hits the open market and a team can sign him without giving pick(s) or player(s) to the 49ers.

Either way, look for a decision to be made quickly, and for a trade to happen only if all three legs of the stool (49ers, Smith, and Smith’s new team) are happy with the total transaction.

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73 Responses to “Report: 49ers will try to trade Alex Smith”
  1. h3min1230 says: Feb 3, 2013 1:29 PM

    KC for a 3rd? Seems fair..

  2. pisano says: Feb 3, 2013 1:31 PM

    How about trading him to the Jets, Smith would probably do well in New York, and Sanchez would probably make a great water boy for the 49ers.

  3. ravenousmike says: Feb 3, 2013 1:32 PM

    Trade Smith and a second rounder to the Jets for Revis.

  4. Danny Anderson says: Feb 3, 2013 1:32 PM

    Give it a shot, Browns. What else have you got to lose?

  5. benroethlisberger7 says: Feb 3, 2013 1:35 PM

    Alex Smith will be traded for a second round pick. We all know he will struggle wherever he goes.

  6. reptar24 says: Feb 3, 2013 1:35 PM

    I wouldn’t mind seeing him as the new handoff specialist for the Vikings.

  7. bnutz44 says: Feb 3, 2013 1:35 PM

    how ironic would it be if Kap were to get knocked out of the game and smith wins it for the 9ers?
    not a sf fan by any means hoping ravens take it to them 9ers

  8. njkid says: Feb 3, 2013 1:36 PM

    Alex Smith is a class act i hope he lands with a team that appreciates him and pays him what he deserves.

  9. arb927 says: Feb 3, 2013 1:36 PM

    If the eagles are looking to make a serious change they will trade for Alex Smith

  10. vikesfan320 says: Feb 3, 2013 1:37 PM

    Release him and let him choose where he wants to go. He’s been a class act all the way- he deserves to pick a team where he can play for possibly a championship, not get shipped somewhere the 49ers will get the best return.

  11. stampnhawk says: Feb 3, 2013 1:40 PM

    I am guessing Flynn will be right up there too.

    Harbaugh seems a little more reluctant /emotional around the release of Smith then Trader John Schneider does with a guy like Flynn.

    I can’t believe Smith would think he could get more than his current contract, after not playing more then a few weeks this year, and had his hand held last year by Harbaugh to get his success…if any NFL GM’s have tape that goes back 2 years, they can see what sort of disaster Smith was pre-Harbaugh…and it would cost over $2m more then Flynn.

  12. 4evrnyt says: Feb 3, 2013 1:41 PM

    Try being the key word. It’s not about Alex’s value it’s simply that the 49ers have zero leverage. Everybody knows he’ll be cut if they don’t find a trade partner and although he’s a good QB I don’t feel most clubs think he’s worth both picks and a starters contract.

    The clubs that are truly interested will wait for his release.

  13. daknight93 says: Feb 3, 2013 1:43 PM

    49ers will not release Alex Smith…he has value as oppose to Tebow who doesn’t, Alex Smith is a starter and the 49ers will get compensation from trade deal..I can see him starting for Chiefs, Browns or other teams in AFC cause I’m sure 49ers will not trade him to a team in the NFC, especially the cardinals in same division.

  14. arb927 says: Feb 3, 2013 1:44 PM

    Everybody on this website are completely ignorant, did we all forget Alex Smith was having an MVP season before he got injured

  15. udkidd says: Feb 3, 2013 1:44 PM

    Hmmmm. Just a few years ago the Eagles traded Kolb to AZ for a 2nd rounder and Cromartie. Smith is much more proven than Kolb and is still only 28 and under contract for two more years. Shouldn’t be hard to get something similar.

  16. donmcg2012 says: Feb 3, 2013 1:45 PM

    For once the Browns should allow a qb to play back to back seasons to develop. Norv Turner and Chudzinski isn’t Jim Harbaugh. Give Weeden another year.

  17. lightcleric says: Feb 3, 2013 1:54 PM

    It’s usually really hard for me to feel sorry for millionaire pro athletes but I really do feel bad for Alex. He’s dealt with like 5 offensive coordinators in his first six years, being benched, being resurrected and told he’s “the guy”, then losing his job to injury, and yet he’s being a team guy by , in Jim Harbaugh’s own words, coaching Kaepernick more than Harbaugh has. He’s one of those real class acts like AP and Larry Fitzgerald.

  18. xmatt0926x says: Feb 3, 2013 1:57 PM

    You mean the 49′ers weren’t being sincere when they said they could fit both under the cap and wanted to keep both qb’s on the team? I’m shocked and dismayed at this trickery…..

  19. deathonwings410 says: Feb 3, 2013 1:57 PM

    To the Jets?

  20. billb49 says: Feb 3, 2013 2:00 PM

    Actually, the Niners have more leverage than you think. They’re in great cap position and they’re only paying about $600K for Colin Kaepernick. York has already said he would love to have Alex Smith stay with the team.

  21. calicokiller49 says: Feb 3, 2013 2:02 PM

    Smith and our first two picks, to get into the top 10 of the draft

  22. keepingitrealdumb says: Feb 3, 2013 2:07 PM

    all 49ers fans know how smith was treated for most of his career in SF .. and all 49ers fans know how smith has handled it .. with class, with professionalism, with maturity.

    i think he deserves, and has earned, a shot at starting for another team. i think he will do very very well as a viking

  23. bleedgreencheesesteak says: Feb 3, 2013 2:07 PM

    I wouldn’t mind seeing him on the Eagles as a bandaid fix for a year or two.

  24. coltzfan166 says: Feb 3, 2013 2:08 PM

    Please don’t go to Cleveland. It would be a sad ending to his career.

  25. fearthehoody says: Feb 3, 2013 2:09 PM

    No Harbaugh = No bueno for Alex

  26. oreo51 says: Feb 3, 2013 2:09 PM

    Flynn has a more team friendly contract. The Seahawks will eat the remainder of his signing bonus ($4m) The new team will only be guaranteeing $2 million of his remaining salary ($5.25 in 2013, $6.25 in 2014). Both players have two years remaining but Smith costs twice as much. Flynn should be the preferred choice for a team that has a tight salary cap situation like the Jets. The Jets could cut Tebow and recover half of Flynn’s salary. Sanchez can be cut next year. Sanchez will also lose a lot of escalators of he does not start. If Flynn has even average success it would enable the Jets to move past Sanchez and his contract. It could be a huge financial win for the them.

  27. 8man says: Feb 3, 2013 2:10 PM

    Reminds me of the Bledsoe-Brady situation for the Patriots over a decade ago. I think the Bills gave up a number 1 pick.

    Could be a bit of a windfall for SF.

  28. chillmodedlb says: Feb 3, 2013 2:12 PM

    I don’t buy the no leverage talk. From all the salaries of starting QB’s I have seen, 8.5 million sounds pretty damn cheap. There are 5 QB’s not named Flacco that are already making over 20 million a season. Alex Smith doesn’t deserve that much money, but I can’t imagine that he isn’t worth 42% of what those guys make when he has a QB rating over 100 and 70% completion percentage. If somebody like Cleveland or KC is interested, they can’t afford to sit back and hope that Alex Smith picks them over other interested teams. Both are new management situations that I’m sure want to avoid looking like the Dolphins, who have swung and missed on all kinds of free agents and coaching candidates over the last few years.

  29. audient says: Feb 3, 2013 2:13 PM

    Norv Turner helped Alex Smith turn it around once. Could lightning strike twice?

  30. theytukrjobs says: Feb 3, 2013 2:15 PM

    Problem is that 8.5 million is probably very close to Smith’s value to interested teams. Smith doesn’t have to take pay cut and it is unlikely that the 9ers will get a huge draft pick just for the priveledge of paying a vet QB about what he’s worth.

    But let’s not forget that Smith has a 102 QB rating in 2012 and was playing pretty lights out when he lost his job. Regardless of what you think of his ability the 49ers are selling high. He’s been labeled a game manager but keep in mind that he’s a tall, intelligent, and extremely accurate QB that is coachable and won’t take stupid chances.

    On a team with good coaching and a defense and run game he’s shown to be quite effective lately.

  31. pigbenis69 says: Feb 3, 2013 2:16 PM

    Any Eagles fan can tell you Andy Reid’s offense is built to be a “big play” offense & his QBs need to have a cannon arm. KC fans who think they know Andy better than us will thumbs down this post, but Reid won’t build around a QB who can’t throw the deep ball. That’s why Kolb never got a real shot (beyond the 1 start in 2010). If you trade your 2nd or 3rd rounder for Smith you’re essentially committing to make him your franchise QB for the next 3-5 years & you don’t do that for a QB who doesn’t fit your system. Favre, McNabb, Vick, Foles – Andy loves guys who can chuck it – that’s who he’ll hitch his wagon to. Not a game manager. Andy will find a QB – always does – just doubt it will be Smith.

  32. TheWizard says: Feb 3, 2013 2:19 PM

    Cleveland and now Kansas City are where quarterback careers go to die.

    Not sure Smith is good enough to turn the tide at those places.

  33. 6thsense79 says: Feb 3, 2013 2:19 PM

    I don’t know if it’s a sure thing Smith gets released if the 49ers don’t trade him. Because of Kaepernicks contract I believe the team would spend no more than 9 to 10 million dollars on the QB position and because of the CBA Kaep can’t renegotiate for 3 more years. At worse the 49ers keep him untill one of the desperate teams get desperate enough to trade.

    Smith is an asset at the most important position in this sport. I don’t see the 49ers letting him walk for nothing.

  34. blkmanwtan says: Feb 3, 2013 2:22 PM

    Alex Smith is not all that good. This will be like Donovan McNabb all over again. It would be crazy for a bad team to trade away draft picks to a Super Bowl team for an average qb. Only way a team should trade for Smith if they have an established offensive line, some good skill players, and a dominating defense.

  35. rap49er says: Feb 3, 2013 2:23 PM

    No way Niners release him if he could then sign with Arizona. No way.

  36. thestrategyexpert says: Feb 3, 2013 2:23 PM

    The 49ers wanted to pay Smith the most when he was a FA, so not sure why any team would want to change their mind on that stance and pick up that contract while dealing anything meaningful of value.

    That would be a huge opportunity for an expensive failure, and any team that needs a QB can find a better long-term plan of more value and less unrewarded risk.

  37. noring4youstill says: Feb 3, 2013 2:31 PM

    I say Colin Kap gets knocked out of the game and Smith leads them to victory.

  38. sisqsage says: Feb 3, 2013 2:34 PM

    They have already paid this guy north of $50 mil since his granteed 36 mil rookie deal. It’s business, they don’t owe him any special treatment because he has been a good citizen. Baalke will get at least a third rounder for him and Smith wil l have nothing to say about it.

  39. bigbluenationdb says: Feb 3, 2013 2:37 PM

    No team will trade for him. They will just wait it out and let San Fran cut him. Why would you give up any draft picks or players for a QB that will eventually be released?

  40. brintfatre says: Feb 3, 2013 2:41 PM

    Dallas for Romo and a lukewarm cup of coffee.

  41. twfur says: Feb 3, 2013 2:43 PM

    Seahawks and 9ers qb will end up hurt just like all running backs that play the qb posit. Kaep. most likely tonight.

  42. hendeeze says: Feb 3, 2013 2:45 PM

    Suddenly every fan of a team who needs a qb thinks Alex Smith should be treated in a way that their club could easily acquire him.

  43. raiderinva says: Feb 3, 2013 2:51 PM

    No way are the Jets even in the talk for Smith, they can’t afford to keep what they have already on the roster.

    Cleveland has the cap numbers and the need. Same with the Buffalo Bills, however drafting a QB is the cheaper and better route for the new coaching staff. Jacksonville also has a dire need for a QB and has the cap space to make it work. (Smith could also end up back in CA) The Titans could be a surprise horse in the race, the front office is not too shy about wanting to upgrade the QB.

  44. oreo51 says: Feb 3, 2013 2:51 PM

    QB needy teams will pay up in draft picks for both Smith and Flynn. Either is a better bet than the guys coming out in the draft this year. Next year you shop for a QB in the draft. The trade of Smith and Flynn will drive a lot of strategy in the draft. The Jets are going to need to unload Revis and cannot afford to sign their draft picks, anyway. Why not use the picks an players to get something back that helps the salary cap problem?

  45. thegreatgabbert says: Feb 3, 2013 2:52 PM

    Alex wears #7, but he isn’t really lucky. Not unlucky, either. Just one of those 50/50 odds kind of guys. Sometimes you wn, sometimes you lose.

  46. robert87653 says: Feb 3, 2013 2:56 PM

    @twfur:

    You do realize Kaep ran only twice against the Falcons? He’s not just a “running” qb.

  47. robert87653 says: Feb 3, 2013 2:58 PM

    If the Eagles were able to trade McNabb and Kolb, and the Patriots were able to trade Cassell, when everyone knew these teams wanted to get rid of them, the niners will be able to trade Smith.

  48. herbertjablonski says: Feb 3, 2013 3:03 PM

    before the game???????

  49. thegreatgabbert says: Feb 3, 2013 3:07 PM

    Alex gets mentioned as a “band aid solution” so often he has taken to wearing cotton swabbing around his waist and coating the top and bottom of his body with adhesive substances.

  50. sportsnut101 says: Feb 3, 2013 3:10 PM

    No team should offer more then a6rd pick. What happens if u trade for him n he wants an extension right away then what do u do

    Zona n chiefs need qb

  51. tannethrill says: Feb 3, 2013 3:13 PM

    It will come down to the money. If a team wants his contract then they’ll send somewhere in the neighborhood of a 4th and if no one wants the contract then he’ll end up getting released.

  52. mrlynch33 says: Feb 3, 2013 3:20 PM

    The things you Vikings fans don’t realize is..that Mike Singletary blamed as Alex Smith and said he was the reason he was a failure as a head coach.
    I believe the question was, “Mike what have you learned here as your tenure has ended?”
    Singletary: “You gotta have a Quarterback.”

    If I were Alex I would not want to go to the Vikings.

  53. rnt2000 says: Feb 3, 2013 3:31 PM

    This is where Buddy Nix and the Bills brass need to start talking and get us a good QB and get rid of Fitzy before March and we can use the saved cap money on Alex. Do the work Bills and get the man.

  54. jprcox says: Feb 3, 2013 3:42 PM

    why would anyone in the 49ers org talk about this subject right before the super bowl. Smith has been very classy – wish I could say the same about the 49ers office. This is not the time.

  55. rabbdogg says: Feb 3, 2013 3:45 PM

    why would the jets trade for smith when they already have his twin in mark Sanchez …a QB that needs a great running game, a great o-line, and a great defense to win any games at all…so they should give up their best player for a player like they already have?..got it..*championship*!

  56. seabreezes51 says: Feb 3, 2013 3:45 PM

    It only takes two teams to form a trade market. Tebow had a trade market

  57. nflovercollegefb says: Feb 3, 2013 3:49 PM

    Alex Smith ran Urban Meyer’s Spread-Option at Utah, very well in fact. IMO this makes him a good fit for Chip Kelly and the Eagles, Alex is a pretty good athlete and an above average passer.

    I could see a three-way deal going down…..Alex Smith to Philadelphia, Nick Foles to Kansas City and Kansas City sending their (very high) 3rd & and 4th round draft picks to SF, everybody gets something of value!

  58. myhornispurple says: Feb 3, 2013 4:36 PM

    Maybe Joe Webb and a high pick to challenge Ponder in Minnesota. With Kapp and Webb you could keep the same style offense play calling.

  59. darth71 says: Feb 3, 2013 4:47 PM

    If Alex Smith was black and Kapernick was white, blacks folks you know we would be screaming racism. Smith has been all class. Kapernick has been playing great but Smith was disrespected. Shame on the anti – white 49ers! Martin Luther King would protest the racism of the 49ers

  60. dtlb58 says: Feb 3, 2013 5:05 PM

    arb927 says: Feb 3, 2013 1:44 PM

    Everybody on this website are completely ignorant, did we all forget Alex Smith was having an MVP season before he got injured.

    How many votes do you see Alex getting when he would have been fighting for them with Peyton and A.P.?
    Your nuts if you think he was going to come close to getting the MVP!

  61. dtlb58 says: Feb 3, 2013 5:10 PM

    h3min1230 says: Feb 3, 2013 1:29 PM

    KC for a 3rd? Seems fair..

    Dream on!

    John Dorsey is NOT giving away the Chiefs draft picks.

    This team is going to be built up from the draft, with a few FA sprinkled in. And maybe a trade or two. But not getting run over for a HIGH 2nd rd draft pick on QB that wont do crap outside the comfort level of sucking on Harbaugh’s pacifier.

  62. dt58 says: Feb 3, 2013 5:14 PM

    As hard as it is to imagine, there are a lot of people that don’t care about skin colour. The only colour that matters to teams is GREEN…it’s a business. Love to see Smith in KC

  63. vernonbasketball says: Feb 3, 2013 5:25 PM

    if you look at the salary of sanchez and smith its the same salary so why not roll the dice alittle and resing some players

    Jet fan for life

  64. madtownthrowdown says: Feb 3, 2013 5:25 PM

    By the end of next year you will see see Alex Smith grouped with names like Ryan Fitzpatrick, Kevin Kolb, and Matt Cassel. May be a team player but in 8 years he didnt do much. How many other franchise QB’s can say that? Maybe Phillip Rivers I guess.

  65. JSpicoli says: Feb 3, 2013 5:29 PM

    Good luck with that. Why not just wait and not have to trade anything?

  66. jbaxt says: Feb 3, 2013 5:31 PM

    If Matt Cassel is worth 12 million a year, though he likely won’t get the last and highest paid year, Smith is worth 8.5 million…

    Maybe KC gives them a 3rd for him? However, after seeing Smith being unseated, and Flynn getting benched for a rookie, these average QB’s who were thought to be good aren’t seemingly worth all that much?

  67. osage44 says: Feb 3, 2013 5:55 PM

    What a joke. Alex Smith is worthly virtually nothing on the trade market with his contract and mediocre skills. Not to mention the fact that the 49ers will have to release him.Still, some idiot in Arizona gave up a 2nd rounder, a starting CB, and a huge contract for Kevin Kolb.

  68. hot97x says: Feb 3, 2013 6:25 PM

    for the niners fans (i am one also) who are saying the 49ers don’t have to trade or release him because his combined salary with Kaep is only $9 million, you are ignorant to the fact that this team is ALREADY up against next years cap. right now they have no cap space just with the players already signed. that doesn’t include signing draft picks and trying to sign Dashon Goldson. they need the cap space, they WILL trade or cut him. they can’t afford to pay a backup QB $8.5 million.

  69. laudidodi says: Feb 3, 2013 6:34 PM

    I would think his best option would be Arizona. I am not sure Reid would want him or just drafting a new QB for the future to start fresh. I think Arizona can cut Kolb. As a Vikings fan, he would be an upgrade over.Ponder. I think we’ve already have seen Ponder and.Kolb’s ceiling.

  70. mrfrostyj says: Feb 3, 2013 8:49 PM

    KC is his best shot. Arizona needs him more but no way San Fran trades in their division. No way he ends up in Cleveland as he’s a more expensive Colt McCoy and then they’d be stuck paying Smith and Weedens contract.

  71. riseabovecancer says: Feb 3, 2013 11:30 PM

    Colin Kaepernick is a free agent…The 49ers will have to hurry and get that guy signed…If not. They might have to stick with Alex Smith. LOL

  72. TurkeyJoeJones says: Feb 4, 2013 10:05 AM

    Banner and the new front office circus in Cleveland will pursue Alex Smith, swing and miss. They need to dump McCoy, give Weeden one more year and look to developing a QB long term. They cannot afford to give up players/picks for Smith.

  73. benjaminkennington says: Feb 4, 2013 4:58 PM

    Alex Smith is 28 years old…think about that for a second. He is younger than Brandon Weeden ( who was just drafted in the first round). He probably has 5-7 years left in this league after a season in which he nearly broke the completion percentage record with a 70% rate he put forth this year. Smith is a bargain IMO.

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