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.