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Report: 49ers' Smith will ask for release

The SportsXchange

Alex Smith's days as the San Francisco 49ers' starting quarterback are over.

His time on the team's roster might be ending soon, too.

ProFootballTalk.com reported early Monday that Smith will seek his release from the 49ers prior to the start of free agency.

Smith, 28, is under contract for next season at $8.5 million, $1 million fully guaranteed, with the rest becoming guaranteed April 1, according to the report. Should be released, he'd be surrendering the additional guaranteed money in exchange for the opportunity to determine his next football home.

If Smith remains on the 49ers' roster after April 1, San Francisco could attempt to trade him to one of the handful of teams in need of a starting quarterback.

Smith led the 49ers to the NFC Championship Game a year ago, and he was the NFL's third-ranked quarterback when he sustained a concussion Nov. 11 against the St. Louis Rams. Colin Kaepernick took over the starting job and retained it even when Smith was back at full strength. Kaepernick wound up leading the 49ers to the Super Bowl.

Smith, who has won 20 of his past 26 starts, completed 70.2 percent of his passes this season for 1,737 yards. He threw 13 touchdown passes and was intercepted five times.

In eight seasons since San Francisco made him the No. 1 overall pick in the 2005 draft, Smith has a 38-36-1 record as a starter. He's completed 59.3 percent of his passes for 14,280 yards with 81 touchdown passes and 63 interceptions.
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