Various sources are issuing enough mixed reports that smoke alarms should be sounding regarding the status or future of San Francisco 49ers quarterback Alex Smith. Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee admitted as much Monday when he reported this is "lying time" in the NFL even as he reported that league sources told him that there was not a deal in place to trade Smith. On Sunday, Jason La Canfora of CBS.com tweeted that 49ers officials told other teams that a deal for Smith was "effectively complete." Also, a high-ranking 49ers source was cited by NFL.com Sunday as saying he was not aware of any deal for Smith being completed. While those reports don't exactly conflict because none cite a specific source or indicates anything definite, this could demonstrate that the 49ers are perpetuating discussion that might help increase Smith's value in the trade market. This smoke screen tactic has been used often in the past by NFL teams with a vested interest in keeping somebody or something in the news. Of course the team to whom Smith would be ostensibly traded is not identified, and the trade cannot be made official until March 12. The Kansas City Chiefs have reportedly shown the most interest in Smith. Jacksonville Jaguars general manager Dave Caldwell told the Florida Times-Union that the Jaguars were not the team that made a deal for Smith.
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