The San Francisco 49ers will attempt to trade quarterback Alex Smith this offseason, according to league sources, and some believe they will be able to do it because there is not a great supply of available quarterbacks and there is a demand for Smith.
Browns offensive coordinator Norv Turner worked well with Smith in San Francisco when he was the team’s offensive coordinator in 2006 and Chiefs coach Andy Reid has expressed an interest in Smith in the past, making Cleveland and Kansas City two possible destinations.
There’s one other factor to consider: If San Francisco deals Smith instead of cutting him, it would save the $1 million or $2 million roster bonus it would have to pay if he is released.
Smith, the 2005 No. 1 overall draft pick, lost his starting job to Colin Kaepernick while sitting out with a concussion but has been professional at every turn and has continued to mentor his replacement.
In fact, coach Jim Harbaugh has indicated that Smith spends more time than he does coaching Kaepernick.
Before his injury, Smith had completed 26 of his last 28 passes — including going 18-of-19 for 232 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions (good to a 157.1 passer rating) in a “Monday Night Football” win at Arizona on Oct. 29.
He then sustained a concussion in the second quarter of the 49ers’ next game, a 24-24 tie against St. Louis on Nov. 11. Smith sat out the next game as Kaepernick dazzled in his debut as an NFL starter, beating the Bears handily at home on “Monday Night Football.” Smith didn’t start again this season.