Alex Smith: Will San Francisco 49ers QB Test the Market?
It's going on Sunday, and Alex Smith has yet to come to terms with the San Francisco 49ers. As most of us are aware, the official start of free agency is Tuesday, March 13th, and at this pace, it looks like Smith might want to see what else is out there for him.
After coming back on a short-term deal and posting a 13-3 record with an NFL record-low five interceptions all season, Smith is looking for a long-term deal to stay with the 'Niners. Unfortunately for Smith, the 49ers are only willing to give him a three-year deal, which apparently displeases the free-agent quarterback.
Most fans would say Smith should see what else is out there, because it isn't much. Taking a look at some of the activity in the league this week, options are only getting smaller by the day. If Smith did indeed see what was available, what might he find?
We know the New York Jets extended Mark Sanchez after his more-than-questionable season in 2011. And the Washington Redskins bet the house on Robert Griffin III by making a blockbuster trade with the Rams that will clear at the beginning of the week. Teams like Arizona, Miami, Kansas City and Denver are in the market for a quarterback, but they have their sights set a little higher.
The smart money says Peyton Manning eventually winds up in Miami, and I bet the Cardinals would let John Skelton and Kevin Kolb duke it out for the starting job instead of bringing in Smith if that's the case. John Elway would never condemn himself and his team by bringing in Smith to take Tim Tebow's job, because in so many ways, it just wouldn't make sense. They would just look to the draft.
Kansas City has been relatively quiet in the Manning sweepstakes, even after Romeo Crennel basically stated they would take a look at him. Bringing in Smith over Matt Cassel would be like bringing in Josh Cribbs to replace Steve Breaston. Sure, they could, but what for?
Teams looking to make a serious splash aren't intrigued by Smith. For all they know, his production was simply a product of Jim Harbaugh's system and would likely not be replicated anywhere else. And to think he would command more money elsewhere is ludicrous.
But all that confidence Harbaugh has instilled in him might cause Smith to take his talents somewhere else. Or at least try. It's truly difficult to think of a realistic destination other than San Francisco for Smith. He may wait for free agency to sign the new contract, but I believe he'll take the three-year deal and like it.
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