According to CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora, a deal to trade the San Francisco 49ers' coveted backup quarterback Alex Smith is "effectively complete," with deals only becoming official once the new NFL year begins on March 12.
Smith presumably desires a trade to a team where he could start right away, with Colin Kaepernick taking over the starting duties in San Francisco for the foreseeable future.
With a deal reportedly in place, the only thing left undetermined at the moment is Smith's next team. The Cleveland Browns and Arizona Cardinals have shown interest and are in need of a legitimate starting quarterback, but it appears the Kansas Chiefs are the likely favorites to have a deal in place to acquire Smith.
According to NFL.com's Ian Rapoport, the Chiefs have a strong interest in Smith -- more interest than any other team to this point in the offseason.
The Browns' interest in Smith appears to have faded as of late, while a trade to NFC West rival Arizona was only expected to be a form of last resort for the 49ers. The rather early offseason report of a deal only hints at the fact the trade partner is not the Cardinals.
Like Joe Montana did in 1993, Smith is likely headed to Kansas City where he could team up with new head coach Andy Reid. Reid was fired from a disappointing last couple seasons in Philadelphia, where his team full of big names did not translate to a single playoff appearance.
Reid has had plenty of experience with young quarterbacks out to prove something. In Donovan McNabb's first full season in the NFL under Reid, he threw for over 3,000 yards and made the Pro Bowl. Michael Vick and Kevin Kolb have both had their fair share of success under Reid during their time in Philadelphia, as well, although recently Kolb has fallen off the map in Arizona and Vick has shown a steady decline with the Eagles.
In return for Smith, the 49ers are expected to receive a mid-round draft pick. The Chiefs have the No. 1 overall pick, but also own the rights to picks 34, 63 and 96 -- any of which could be involved in a deal to acquire Smith.
The 2013 NFL Draft is expected to be the deepest in years, with legitimate strengths on the defensive side of the football -- an area the 49ers are sure to shore up in this draft with holes in the secondary and defensive line. San Francisco has a possible 14 draft picks in the 2013 NFL Draft.
For the 49ers, the expected trade of Smith to the Chiefs is a win-win. San Francisco gets rid of the $8.5 million that would go towards an unneeded backup quarterback, and they acquire even stronger draft picks in return to add to their lengthy 2013 list. Look for the 49ers to be active on the trade front with that amount of ammunition on April 25.
Kansas City, on the other hand, will be taking a risk in trading for Smith. The 28-year-old has only had success under one coach in seven seasons in the NFL. Jim Harbaugh has built him up from draft bust to the most coveted quarterback of the 2013 offseason.
The question mark surrounding whether or not the 49ers could find a trade partner for Smith is no more, and in return the rich continue to get richer.
Scott Semmler is a senior at San Jose State University fortunate enough to have covered nearly every Bay Area professional sports team, including the San Francisco Giants' 2012 World Series title. Follow him on Twitter @ScottSemmler22.
- American Football
- Sports & Recreation
- Alex Smith
- San Francisco 49ers
- San Francisco