The 49ers made it sufficiently clear at the NFL Scouting Combine that they weren’t going to be giving quarterback Alex Smith away. And they may have already found a taker, or are at least spreading the word that they have in order to goose the market.
According to Jason LaCanfora of CBSSports.com, the 49ers are telling other teams that a trade for Smith is “effectively complete,” even though it can’t be executed until the league year begins March 12. A trade being “effectively complete” two weeks before it can be done is the “mild concussion,” of medical diagnosis, in that it doesn’t really mean anything.
But it sparked a couple of the usual suspects to stick their heads out of the hole to deny, with the Jaguars closely followed by the Browns.
Jags GM Dave Caldwell told Ryan O’Halloran of the Florida Times-Union “not us,” via text.
Then a source told Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer it wasn’t the Browns either.
Speculation about landing spots for Smith centered on the Chiefs from the start, for several reasons.
One, they have a need for a solid quarterback to work with a roster that’s not bereft of offensive talent (especially if they franchise Dwayne Bowe). And without a quarterback worth using the No. 1 pick on, they can plug Smith in and be better immediately, lending some stability to a franchise that could use some.
But they make more sense than some of the other teams from a style standpoint. With Andy Reid bringing a West Coast system to Kansas City, Smith’s mobility and recent accuracy is more of a fit. The Browns under Rob Chudzinski/Norv Turner are going to want to throw downfield more, and there’s been little evidence thus far that Smith has the kind of arm to do that (especially in adverse conditions).