David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

NFL Free Agency 2013: Alex Smith To Seek Release?

With over a month until NFL free agency kicks off, rumors are already beginning to swirl.

This one is about QB Alex Smith.

With rookie QB Colin Kaepernick set to lead the San Francisco 49ers into the Super Bowl this weekend, Smith is the odd man out. He is due to earn $8.5 million in 2013, with $1 million guaranteed now and the balance guaranteed as of April 1. Since Kaepernick is the man going forward, there is no way the team will pay Smith that much money to hold a clipboard.

It is widely expected that the 49ers will try to trade Smith. That is something they won’t be able to do until the start of the new league year which consequently, is also when 2012 contracts expire and free agency begins.

According to Pro Football Talk, Smith will ask the 49ers to release him before the start of free agency.

It is a shrewd move by Smith but it may be a smart one.

If Smith is traded by the 49ers, he has no say in where he ends up. The good news, however, is that his contract is traded along with him so he will be guaranteed all that money from his new team.

Trading Smith is also good for the 49ers because they don’t want to pay up. The problem for the team is that they may not be able to trade Smith.

It isn’t that teams won’t be interested in getting Smith but the fact is, the rest of the league has the 49ers over a barrel. Other GMs know that the 49ers will have to release Smith if they can’t find a trade partner. If Smith is released, the team can then get him for “free” in free agency and construct a contract that is more to the team’s liking.

For Smith, being released before free agency is a gamble because he isn’t guaranteed to get as big of a contract as he’d be guaranteed if he is traded. The advantages for Smith are twofold. For starters, as a free agent he will have more say on where he ends up. Smith will also enjoy being a big name free agent in a market that favors him. Much like when the Chiefs signed CB Stanford Routt last offseason, if Smith is released before the market is flooded with the other free agent QBs, he will have more value.

But will the 49ers play ball?

They might. Smith has been a model citizen in San Francisco and the team may want to do him a good turn by cutting him lose. Smith’s chances might be improved if the 49ers win the Super Bowl this weekend, if not just because the front office will be in a really, really good mood.

My guess is that the 49ers will put out feelers shortly after the Super Bowl. If some team really wants Smith and wants to guarantee they can land him, they’d need to do it via trade. If a team can convince the 49ers that they will deal for Smith shortly after the new league year begins, the organization may take the deal.

It is a bit of a complicated game of chess for all parties involved. I’d wager that Smith just doesn’t offer enough security for a team to make a trade for him when they know he is going to possibly be released. I’d wager the 49ers will either grant Smith his wish to be released early or will try to trade him and fail, thus releasing him in March.

Now for the question we have ll been waiting for.

Do you think the Chiefs should pursue QB Alex Smith? Smith had been playing very well the last couple of years under Jim Harbaugh. While that may embolden some KC fans to want the Chiefs to go after Smith, at the same time, it is important to remember that despite his good play, the 49ers benched Smith in the middle of a Super Bowl run in favor of Kaepernick.

If the Chiefs did pursue Smith, how would you like them to do it? Trade or free agency?

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  • Cha-iefs

    yes try and get him. [Try for him in FA] The guy got a raw deal in SF and he’ll have a chip on his shoulder. I like guys like that…they have something to work for.

    *It’s important to remember the 49ers benched smith for collin mid SB run…..??? why’s that important? That sounds like a “But”..I like Geno so I have reservations about Smith bcuz I want Geno drafted and to start. No,No.. they can draft Geno but get Alex first. [Andy Reid would do great with Alex...look what he did with Kevin Kolb. Made him look good and got him some cash in AZ. Smith is better than Kolb. I digress...

    This is whats important to remember: Collin can do what Alex does AND run better. That's not a bad thing and it's not lke the 49ers don't have 2 GOOD QBs. So why is it important t remember they benched a good QB for another good QB that could do the same plus give you another wrinkle? It's as if you're making it out to be a bad thing. Alex is no slouch. He's every bit as GOOD as Joe FLAKE-O and I believe that guy is playing in a SB soon.
    Remember all the talk about how teams needed a number 1 pick/ elite QB to win a superbowl? Neither of these guys are number 1 picks playing this SB and neither are "Elite" [as of now,TBD] You know what these teams [bal,9ers] do have in common? A great run game and solid,good Def. Guess that can still get you a ring in the NFL. You know what didn’t get a ring? The BEST offense in the NFL. NE is pouting. I’ll take the run game and the Def. Get Alex Smith and build the Def. draft some later QBs but don’t waste the #1. Get the BPA.

    • ArrowFan

      Both SB QB’s are light years ahead of what we have and are better than any FA QB available. Yea if we can get him in FA for a cheap price do it but we still need to draft the BQBA with the first pick.

  • Altarium

    I think the Chiefs will (and should) go for Alex Smith, if they can get a decent contract in place. You do make a good point that he was benched in favor Kaepernick, however Smith has shown that he can be a good QB (They did get to the NFC champ game last year). Plus, just because Kaepernick is the better QB on their roster, doesn’t mean Smith is a bad QB.

    Aaaaaand I’m not sold on Geno (I know a lot of Chiefs fans are, so I’m prepared for the obligitory torches and pitchforks being shaken in my direction). I don’t know
    how much of his play everyone has watched this past season, but being an alum of a BigXII school, I watched a lot of his games, and was not regularly impressed. I also think some of the “highlight” videos people are circulating can be misleading. Yes they show good/great abilities, but remember that a 15-20 minute video does not always indicate future success. I’m not a scout of course, and my football knowledge is limited, however I think that right now, the Chiefs need to sign a free agent who is clearly good, despite the memories of Matt Cassel it may conjure up. With all that though, I’m not saying I wouldn’t be excited to see them draft Geno, in the hopes that he IS our QB of the future. Rather, that I think getting Alex Smith until a CLEAR top QB prospect comes up in the draft, would be a better choice.

    • tm1946

      Bad new for you but I am on your side. In 2014 there are several QB who have a upside over the 2013 class.

      Just not sure how Dorsey or Reid view it.

    • ArrowFan

      We don’t need any more game managers at QB. We need a game winner.

      • toperspective

        I agree but the big question is…..are there any “game winners” in this craptastic draft?

    • toperspective

      Get ready for a plethora of all caps responses form Geno’s Chiefs posse. I’m willing to let the brain trust make the decision as they can evaluate Geno better than fans. If they thought Geno was a bust and if they thought it was a good fit I wouldn’t mind Smith for the final season of his contract as long as the acquisition price was cheap enough.

    • superman_25_58

      I have watched most of Geno Smith’s games as well as the other Qb’s in the draft what can I say I love watching some football! I also look up and compare not only Qb stats but team stats as well. Geno is the clear cut #1 Qb in my eyes from all the research I have done on the Qb’s (Again this is my opinion that I strongly believe doesn’t mean you have to). It appears that Geno is the clear cut #1 Qb in the IMG Academy’s “Director of football” Chris Wienke’s eyes too. Wienke says that Geno can Spin “throw” the ball just as good if not better than anyone he has worked with. Wienke has worked with Cam Newton, Christian Ponder, Russel Wilson, Ryan Tannehill, & Kirk Cousins as well as most of the top Qb’s in this years draft. When asked by Danny Parkins so you say Geno can throw just as good if not better than these guys and Wienke says, O No Question! When asked about what level he is on Tannehill or who? Weinke says that he believes Geno is on RG3′s level in terms of being able to process information, and is a big athletic guy who can drive the ball down field with accuracy. Like I said I believed this all along and now that the man who is training most of the top prospects in this years draft at all diff positions, I have to say it pretty much sums everything up in my eyes. WITH THE FIRST OVERALL PICK OF THE 2013 NFL DRAFT THE KANSAS CITY CHIEFS SELECT……….. GENO SMITH QB, WV! Let’s get it done!!!!

      • superman_25_58

        You can find this Interview at 610sports.com, if you haven’t heard it check it out.

    • Daniel Mayfield

      IMO, don’t watch games and be disappionted. Look at his NUMBERS! It was his 1st season in the Big 12. Go back to the season before when they were in the Big East(I think that’s what it’s called). They dominated that league. So, they moved up a level. Geno did pretty good in the next level, look at stats! Their defense was ranked very low.

      Geno moves up to NFL with HC Andy Reid, who is suppose to be great with QBs(remember McNabb?), and we MIGHT see another winning QB. A leader, an imitation of McNabb who can lead a team to championships.

      Fans on here talk about Geno having bad games. Name 1 QB that has never had a bad game. Didn’t Brady fumble and throw 2 ints when they loss to the Ravens? He’s suppose to be 1 of the best. Where’s Rodgers? Did he make it to the playoffs? Steve Young is talked about 1 of the best QBs in the past but he didn’t win any SB………So the fans that don’t like Geno as #1 pick gotta think…KC’s got a HC that’s “great with QBs” and it was nothing at all like that this season in the Big 12 where his stats were still pretty good and at the games they repeatedly said “He’s got a high I.Q. For the game”. I think he would be the best pick. No OL or DL. TIME TO DRAFT A #1 rd QB! It’s been 30 yrs! Give it a try!

      • bill

        Steve young did win a super bowl

      • d-block

        Rodgers made the playoffs, and Steve Young won the SB against the Chargers.

  • http://www.facebook.com/travis.pinnick.5 Travis Pinnick

    Smith is nothing more than a game manager, Matt Cassel was nothing more than a game manager. Both relied on a elite defence not saying it’s a bad move to go for Smith but break the mold draft the best qb in the draft.

    • tm1946

      ?suggesting we may keep Cassel? After all he was a pro bowler, for what that is worth.

    • tyler sims

      20-5 Career Record whats Cassels ?

      • Darkwolf1414

        Who is it that you keep saying is 20-5 in his career? Alex Smith? He’s been in the league for 8 years! I don’t follow the Niners, so I didn’t know this, but apparently he’s been injured a lot. His record, as a starter (including playoffs), is 39 wins 41 losses and 1 tie. It’s right there on NFL.com.

  • mattU

    I think the better question is: Would Alex Smith consider coming to KC as a free agent? I’d be inclined to say no. We have the 1st pick in the draft and if the Chiefs pass on a QB there all Chief’s fans would see Alex Smith as big reason for it. In the chance Geno Smith becomes a star for another team, Alex Smith becomes unappreciated and resented in KC just like he was in SF because they took him over Rodgers. I think A. Smith will go somewhere he feels he’ll have the best chance to be welcomed and desired as the starter. Fan-bases like the Jets, Jacksonville, and Arizona would probably love to have Alex Smith starting for them…Hell even Tampa Bay and Dallas fans would probably be willing to write off Freeman and Romo for Alex Smith.

  • Michael Shaw

    Trade for him? ABSOLUTELY NOT!!!! If some other team wants to pay a high pick to SF to get him before FA, then let them. I think if he hits the FA market, the Chiefs should go for him. That way we have an insurance policy in case, god forbid I say this, Geno turns out to be another JaMarcus Russel…………okay that is too harsh, so how about in case Geno turns out to be another Vince Young…………either way I would be happier having the kid sit his first year and learn under Andy and, yes even Alex. He could teach him to be the kind of man he has been in SF the whole time he has been there. I don’t know of any QB in the league that has had as many OC’s in his tenure.

  • ArrowFan

    Let Alex go play for someone else, unless we can get him with say 3 mill in FA.

  • nathan82

    I mean no disrespect to those that suggest we should wait until next year to pick up a qb, but I hate the “next years draft class is better” logic. I remember many people last year saying the same thing about this draft class, and now here we are. I don’t want to reach either, but we have no idea what next years draft class will look like right now or where we will be drafting(I hope it is not #1 again). What if it is a great class but we are drafting 26th(yeah). It might be impossible for us to move up to get that great qb, if they even exist. The logic for waiting for a future that might never come is just silly to me. We need to make the moves that we can make now. I for one don’t want another awful season just so we can maybe get a qb that is maybe better than Geno. Take the best qb now and lets roll the dice.

    • toperspective

      Who said this years draft class would be better than last? If the Chiefs are drafting 26th then they must have gotten someone to play QB because they aren’t getting there with the current roster of QB’s. I know I’m in the hated minority here but I’m willing to let Dorsey/Reid decide if Geno is the guy.

      • nathan82

        I will admit that using pick 26 as an example probably wasn’t the best to prove my point, although that still means we didn’t win a SB. I would expect us to be drafting in the 15-20 range if we play like we can and have decent qb play. As for last year, I think if you go back to this time last year you will find multiple people advocating for this years draft class. It was only after the season started and people started to really see that Barkley and Jones and Wilson and Glennon, etc weren’t what people had hoped. Regardless, the point I was trying to make is that next year always looks brighter but a million things can happen that we cannot predict. I too want Dorsey/Reid to decide, and they will. I don’t think we have any say in the matter. I am just tired of the “wait until next year” mantra. I am ready for it to be the Chiefs time and the policy of picking up other peoples throwaways just doesn’t bear fruit. I don’t advocate for reaching. I think picking up Smith with the hopes he can win us a Super Bowl is more of a reach than Geno. Time will tell.

  • Chief Hokie

    He’s a system QB. Would he excel in our system? I doubt it. It’s not worth sacrificing any draft picks to find out.

  • ladner morse

    I’m not “in love” with Alex Smith but I would love for the Chiefs to get him. He’s much better than what a lot of people give him credit for being.

    This year, Alex has a 104 QBR and has had only two game under 90. His 70% completion rate is not shabby at all.

    I know KC fans are snake-bit right now when they hear the words “good game MANAGER” but people only call Alex Smith that because he’s not the most outstanding athlete on his team and doesn’t make the BIG PLAYS that fans want to see out of their QB.

    I hope the Chiefs go “a’Smithing” this off season — and end up with two SMITH QBs… just to hedge their bets. BTW… Alex Smith is NOT Matt Cassel 2.0.

    • tyler sims

      Bro you can’t explain that to these desk jockey never played football asses they don’t understanx NFL Stats they want us to draft a QB that wears his hat side ways in interviews go to you tube and check it out

      • Justin R Groth

        Sorry to point this out to you but this “desk jockey never played football” guy would like to point out that Ladner actually supports DRAFTING Smith. All he pointed out is that Alex wasn’t as bad as some say (myself included). How Geno wears his hat has NOTHING to do with football. However I and most everyone else on here value your opinion. Sorry for being cranky at the beginning it just gets aggravating when I keep seeing people say a comment on a player without backing it up with evidence.

        • Justin R Groth

          Ps I played ball from 3rd grade to 10th grade. I got in a wreck that year and never got back on the field. However got scholarship with a juco to help the scouting department and spent 2 years watching tape till 3 am. But i dont no nothing.

      • Darkwolf1414

        Speak for yourself but I actually DID play ball and was highly recruited by big time schools coming out of high school. As has happened with many players, I had a career ending injury and didn’t end up being able to play college ball. I don’t think Mel Kiper or John Clayton ever played ball but I bet you think they’re geniuses.

        • tyler sims

          You have a point there!!

        • tyler sims

          Wow imagine that they Drafted alex smith

          • tyler sims

            Sorry traded

    • Justin R Groth

      Ladner I usually agree with you however on your last statement I don’t know if I can. The way I see A. Smith last year is basically Cassel with Weis so if we take him away from his “Weis” will he revert to the same form as when he was with Singletary. Basically I question whether Singletary was such a bad fit for Smith that he looked so horrid and Harbraugh made him look good (not great) or if Smith is a “decent” Qb who needs things going his way to make them work. Remember most of the 49er fan base was OK not resigning him before the year. Obviously they did but then they replaced him. I just don’t know. I would like to see us draft or QB of the Future and have is Number be 12 with the letters SMITH across his back.

  • Calchiefsfan

    We need to fix the quarterback position, Alex Smith is definitely another good option. His 104 QB rating speaks for itself. Cassel was never, ever close to that. If we can work a favorable deal with San Francisco then go for it. No reason why we can’t get Smith and draft a QB. Reid will get the most out of both.

  • GDL40

    DO NOT trade for him ! Alex Smith is not a franchise QB. If he hits free agency, then maybe try to get him without paying too much, but in no way is he the answer at QB, and I think right now is when we (Chiefs fans) most desperately need need a GOOD QB ! PLEASE get rid ofCassel, A. Smith IS better than Cassel, but I would like to have him only as QB #2

    • Michael Shaw

      I think if he comes here it will be with the thought of him starting this year and teaching whomever we draft at QB this year.

      • GDL40

        You’re probably right, but I will be dissapointed if that happens. I would rather roll the dice on the rookie(hopefully Geno).

  • micah stephenson

    Hell knaw!!! A.Smith is another Cassel. Why waste time when you know you can draft Geno Smith?

    • Daniel Mayfield

      Alex is much better then Cassel. But, can Geno be better then Alex? Try to get both of them. Trade 3rd and 4th rd picks for him. Don’t go for him as a FA. He’ll probably be asking to much. Dorsey is already picking up a lot of “unknown” FAs. Try a trade for Alex and draft Geno. Put Cassel on the bench

      • Michael Shaw

        I wouldn’t trade Cassel for him. I would take him in free agency though. That way we pay him LESS than he is owed by the 49ers next year.

  • Chiefswatch

    Why wouldn’t we expect the Chiefs to pursue this turd.

  • nathan82

    The more I think about it, the more I can see the logic in grabbing him for a 3rd or 4th. Many people are advocating for the Chiefs to take two qbs in the draft anyway. Why not take Alex Smith instead of a project? And San Fran might be inclined to move him for that if it is the the alternative is releasing him. I don’t know if his salary will work, but with no Matt Cassel we have freed some cap space. In no way do I want him instead of Geno Smith, only in addition to.

    • Calchiefsfan

      I like this idea as well. I’m of the belief that Geno will develop into a top notch QB but we won’t know for certain until he plays in the NFL. One thing we do know is that Alex Smith can play in the NFL and play well. Let Alex start and give Reid time to develop Geno. If we could get Alex Smith for a third round pick then I’m all for that.

      • Darkwolf1414

        I think if we draft Geno then he needs to start right away. It seems the time of letting a QB sit for a year or two, behind a veteran, has passed. Who is the last QB that worked with? Aaron Rodgers? That wasn’t smart assed that was a real question.

  • Danny W

    It is a known fact that the Hunts have a fetish for San Francisco quarterbacks. Steve Bono, Elvis Grbac and Joe Montana. Will they go after Alex Smith? Of course they will. Hopefully they get Geno in there to compete with him for the starting job, maybe Smith can keep the job warm for G Smith much like he did for Kapernick until he was ready.

    • Darkwolf1414

      The Montana, Bono and Grbac years were because the Chiefs were trying to run the 49er offense and be San Fran East. A little like bringing Cassel in so we could be New England West. I get what you’re saying, though. I think we need to draft Geno Smith, start blowing it up and be Kansas City Mid-West. We’ve seen what getting other guys’ QBs have done for us. Montana got us to the AFC Title but that was it. The rest got us crap.

  • Lucas Hampton

    Smith is 33-34 as a starter for the 49rs, Cassel is 24-21 with the Pats and Chiefs. Cassel is 1,203 out of 2,044 (58.9%) for 13,495 and 82 Tds and 72 Ints with a rating of 80.4. Smith is 1290 out of 2177 (59.3%) for 14,280 yards and 81 Tds and 75 Ints with a rating of 79.1; the numbers show that Cassel has a better career QBR than Smith, but Smith threw more balls and more yards, granted by a slim margin, Cassel has ONE more TD and three less picks, but a lower completion percentage. But not by much. So, the numbers are fairly similar, but think about where both guys have been: Cassel was in New England for the majority of his career and until the 2008 season had seen very limited action and it was mostly garbage time action when he was needed to just finish out the game for the Pats, then 2008 rolls around and he goes 11-5 but misses the playoffs, Cassel filled in nicely for Brady, but was it really him? I say no, that particular season was a system product. It is typical of Pats players, coaches, and front office personnel (save the Falcons’ Dimitroff, he figured out that the Patriot Way doesn’t work if you don’t have Tom Brady at QB and Bill Belichick at HC) to look great in NE but be just marginal to awful anywhere else (look at Eric Mangini, Romeo Crennel, Scott Pioli, Matt Cassel, Mike Vrabel). Cassel displayed this, being a system product in 2008 and was only marginal for the next two years in KC, then he just tanked as we all well know. Alex Smith on the other hand, came to a 49rs squad that wasn’t exactly the best, learning a new offense every year and putting up Matt Cassel System Product numbers is sometimes the best he could do with what he had to work with in San Francisco, he stuck around because he has the talent and potential that got him drafted number one overall in the same draft where Cassel was taken in the seventh round. Jim Harbaugh comes to town, and then it’s not long and Smith is suddenly one of the best in the NFL, showing that skill and potential he has, certainly no Peyton Manning or Drew Brees, but still a solid starter at QB, even when he clicked under Harbaugh, he still didn’t have a star studded offense to throw to, Vernon Davis and Michael Crabtree aren’t exactly my first choice for a WR-TE combo, he had a strong RB in Frank Gore to help him out and a better offensive line to work behind, but he still played like one of the best QBs out there, then the 49rs brought in Mario Manningham, Randy Moss, and drafted a WR with their first round choice, bolstering the recovering corps and giving Smith more targets, he only showed more improvement, then sits out one game due to injury and then gets replaced by Collin Kapaernick, who is a dual threat QB who can throw and run, obviously the hot hand and maybe the better choice at QB. Should the benching of Smith be seen as a warning flag? Maybe, we may not know until he joins a different team and if he doesn’t repost his same numbers. In a case of Alex Smith vs Matt Cassel, Smith gets my vote and if he was out there as a free agent, I would at least bring him in for a workout and if he impresses then sign as cheap as possible to prevent as much backlash as possible if the experiment flops, if he puts up the same numbers, then if he wants more money I would pay him. I think Smith is worth at least a long hard look and a shot if he proves himself, if he were a free agent, trading, I would take my chances in the draft. If we use something like the 1st overall pick to get him, and he flops, then it’s a HUGE loss and we are stuck with a salary sap and a fail cake QB (again). We saw it in Cassel that he couldn’t put up New England numbers outside of New England, Smith hasn’t ever known another team so who knows if he flops if he leaves? To me, it’s worth a shot in free agency, avoiding the most risk that can be avoided, and the potential for a good turnout. But not trading, too high of a risk in a trade. That’s my take.

    • Darkwolf1414

      Good points on the comparison of Alex Smith and Cassel. I agree that if we could get him on the cheap in free agency then he’d be worth a look. But I definitely would not trade for him.

      • Lucas Hampton

        If he goes into free agency and KC checks him out and signs him to as cheap a contract as possible, if he keeps up his numbers then it’s a low-as-possible-risk deal with a very high reward. Smith has been one of the best since Harbaugh came along and provided stability. Smith has the talent and potential to be up there with, at the very least close to, Peyton Manning and his class. All he needed was stability and when Harbaugh came along, then he had the stability he needed to show why he was drafted number one overall