Colin Kaepernick was able to come into the national spotlight and earn the starting position after Smith went down with a concussion against the St. Louis Rams. Before that, however, Smith was playing as well as anyone in the league.
He leads the NFL with a 70 percent completion percentage and had a very impressive quarterback rating of 104. He completed 25 of his last 27 passes before the injury for 304 yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions.
Smith did not hold back his opinion when he said (via ESPN), "I feel like the only thing I did to lose my job was get a concussion."
After seven years in the NFL, he can provide experience and a great amount of skill to some team around the league. These teams represent the best options for Alex Smith's future.
Stay with San Francisco 49ers
Before jumping too far ahead, it is definitely possible that Smith's career in San Francisco is not over.
The former top overall draft pick has been replaced as a starter multiple times throughout his career and always ended up sticking with the team.
Even when the team considered adding Peyton Manning during the offseason, Smith took his emotions out of the equation and re-signed with the team because it was the best option.
Jim Harbaugh named Kaepernick as the starting quarterback for this week, but when asked about the rest of the season, he responded by saying, "I wouldn't assume anything," according to Clark Judge of CBS Sports.
If the second-year player starts to struggle in one of the next few games, Smith should be right there to return to the field. Possibly more than anyone else in the league, he will be able to stay focused and perform well.
For a team that has been a complete circus all year, the New York Jets can use some stability at quarterback.
He is also non-controversial, remaining supportive of his teammates throughout this incident. This type of leadership could be useful on a team that consistently complains about each other to the media.
Finally, his experience at being under national scrutiny might allow him to deal with playing in New York. He could jump onto this team and solidify the quarterback position right away.
The Kansas City Chiefs would have a solid offense if it could get anything going at the quarterback position.
Jamaal Charles, Dwayne Bowe, Dexter McCluster and Jon Baldwin are all very talented skill players that just need someone to hold it all together.
Alex Smith would provide the team with steadiness at quarterback and improve the turnover rate that has caused problems for the squad all season.
Smith has enough talent to remain a starting quarterback in the NFL for at least a few more years.