Until the recent emergence of Colin Kaepernick in San Francisco (a player that guest blogger Andrew Garda warned us about leading up to the draft back in 2011) it was hard to know what will befall Alex Smith. Could he be a free agent this coming offseason?
Via Frank Schwab on Shutdown Corner on Yahoo!
It will be interesting to see what happens to Smith after this season. He has 30 touchdowns and 10 interceptions over the last two years. For all his limitations, he'd probably be a huge upgrade for many teams, and he's only 28 years old. The Jets, Chiefs, Jaguars and Cardinals would be instantly better with Smith playing quarterback, to name a few teams. The 49ers are unlikely to keep him past next April 1, because that's when his $7.5 million base salary for 2013 becomes guaranteed. Kaepernick is a 2011 second-round pick and clearly the 49ers' quarterback of the future, so it's hard to see the 49ers paying that much to keep around Smith. There should be plenty of interest in Smith around the league, especially with no quarterback prospects on the same level as a Andrew Luck or Robert Griffin III in the 2013 draft.
Two weeks ago, Smith was the starting quarterback for one of a handful of teams with realistic championship dreams. Now, Smith can't do much but sit and watch the team he helped lead during its rebirth try to make the Super Bowl with a brand new quarterback.
I'm intrigued, but not so sure. The Jets seem to be tied to Sanchez and Tebow for next year, so not sure how that could work. As for who else could be out there? Take a look at the list of likely free agent quarterbacks ... Flacco won't be available and so it's not a lot of great names -- as there never is when it comes to quarterbacks. So is Alex Smith better than the rest? Based on the last two years, yes of course. How much would it cost the Jets? Would Smith be better than Sanchez? Quite possibly, but there are considerations.
Smith only started playing well for the Niners once Harbaugh arrived, thus it's hard to imagine that it's just a coincidence. So now the question is if Smith was to come to a team like the Jets, can he keep the trajectory that he was on in San Francisco? Assuming the Jets bring back Sparano as the OC, and without Frank Gore and dynamic veteran targets like Crabtree and Davis, it's hard to imagine it would be substantially better.