The 2013 NFL Scouting Combine isn’t even complete, but it appears that there is already a major trade in the works.
According to Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports, the San Francisco 49ers are all set to move Alex Smith. The quarterback can’t be officially traded until Mar. 12 when free agency begins, but the report states that a deal is “effectively complete.”
La Canfora could not confirm which team would acquire Smith in a potential deal, but NFL.com’s Greg Rosenthal claims that the Kansas City Chiefs are the club that will end up with the 49ers signal caller.
With Colin Kaepernick’s emergence as San Francisco’s starting quarterback, Smith has become one of the most coveted commodities on the trade market. He signed a three-year, $24 million contract a year ago, and makes a lot less money than the league’s top quarterbacks. He led the 49ers to the NFC Championship game last season, and had the best completion percentage in the NFL before losing his job.
Smith has shown that ability to lead a winning team, and it might be hard to find a club more in need of a quarterback than the Chiefs. Matt Cassel had the worst passer rating of any regular starter in 2012, and Kansas City will look to upgrade in Andy Reid’s first season.
The Chiefs might not have considered trading for Smith in most other years. They have the No.1 pick in the NFL Draft, and don’t have to worry about another team taking a quarterback they feel could be a superstar. This year’s draft class, though, is without a “can’t miss” prospect. Prospects like Geno Smith and Mike Glennon don’t compare to Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III from last year’s class.
There have been rumors that the Chiefs will take Texas A&M left tackle Luke Joeckel with their top selection in April. If Kansas City takes Joeckel and trades for Smith, they could select a quarterback later in the draft.
The Jacksonville Jaguars were also mentioned by La Canfora as a possible landing spot for Smith. General manager Dave Caldwell told Ryan O’Halloran of the Florida Time-Union that the club does not have a deal in place with the 49ers.