San Francisco quarterback Alex Smith passes during a practice in New Orleans… (Mark Humphrey / Associated…)
Alex Smith's career with the San Francisco 49ers appears to be over.
A tweet from CBS' Jason La Canfora on Sunday said that a deal that would send the 49ers' former starting quarterback to another team is "effectively complete." Such a transaction, however, can not actually take place until the NFL year begins on March 12.
So until then, all we can do is speculate. The Jacksonville Jaguars would seem to be a likely candidate, with the Blaine Gabbert experiment not working out so well after two subpar seasons. But Jaguars General Manager Dave Caldwell texted "not us" to the Florida Times-Union on Sunday in response to quickly spreading word about a team having acquired Smith's services.
NFL.com is reporting that the Kansas City Chiefs have shown the most interest in Smith, who would take over after a lackluster showing by Matt Cassel in three of his four years with the team. The Arizona Cardinals might make sense after the Kevin Kolb/John Skelton/Ryan Lindley/Brian Hoyer fiasco last season.
Smith was drafted No. 1 overall by San Francisco in 2005 but was unimpressive in his first several seasons, until Jim Harbaugh took over as head coach in 2011. That season, Smith threw for 17 touchdowns and five interceptions in leading the 49ers to a 13-3 record and into the NFC championship game, which they lost in overtime to the New York Giants.
This past season, Smith completed 70.2% of his passes with 13 touchdowns and five interceptions in compiling a 6-3-1 record. But he suffered a concussion in November and was replaced by dynamic second-year quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who never relinquished the spot even after Smith was healthy.
Kaepernick led the 49ers into the Super Bowl, where they came up just short against the Baltimore Ravens earlier this month, and appears to be the quarterback of the future in San Francisco. And that has led to all the speculation about Smith's future, or lack thereof, with the 49ers, a team that would owe him $7.5 million in base salary next season.
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