One of the big storylines heading into the Super Bowl surrounds the 49ers' quarterback position and how Alex Smith only lost his job to Colin Kaepernick due to a concussion. When Smith went down, Kaepernick stepped in. It is pretty obvious at this point that the second-year Nevada signal caller doesn't feel like giving it back anytime soon.
That is why Pro Football Talk is reporting that Smith's days in a 49ers uniform are essentially numbered. The team will try and trade him following the Super Bowl. He is owed $8.5 million next season, which is a hefty price to pay for a backup QB.
The odd twist in this is that Smith does not want to be traded. He wants to be released.
It seems that Smith either has a team he is eyeing as a possible landing spot or simply does not want to be traded to a select group of teams.
If the Cardinals want to pursue Smith this offseason, they certainly would prefer that he is released. Not only would they not have to surrender any draft picks to obtain him, but they would also increase their chances of signing him if he is released. The 49ers would not be eager to trade a guy they see as starting QB material to a divisional foe. That could come back to haunt them.
PFT suggests that with his current contract, it could be hard to trade Smith. I disagree. I think that is a very manageable price to pay for a guy that was playing very well before he was benched. If a team wants him bad enough, the problem won't be his contract, it will be what picks they have to give up to get him.
When and if Smith is released, we don't even know if the Cardinals will want him. But if they do, they better hope the 49ers grant his wish.