Whether you are a fan of Jim Harbaugh's decision to bench Alex Smith in favor of Colin Kaepernick or not, the reality of the situation is that the veteran is not long for San Francisco.
There's simply no way that he'll be content as Kaepernick's backup in 2013, and with the 49ers clearly believing that the rookie is their quarterback of the future, Smith staying n San Francisco doesn't make a whole lot of sense for the veteran.
Whether the 49ers release him or trade him, the smart money says that Smith is going to be looking for a new home in 2013.
Let's take a look at three potential destinations.
New York Jets
Mark Sanchez has regressed to the point where you'd have to question whether he'd make a team as a backup in training camp.
Greg McElroy, while he looked solid replacing Sanchez in Week 13 and would be welcomed with open arms by a frustrated fanbase, won't be handed the keys to the team by head coach Rex Ryan, who will certainly be on the hot seat after this season.
It's clear that the Jets don't consider Tim Tebow to be an option, and chances are that he'll be playing elsewhere in 2013.
Smith can effectively run the Jets offense without making the Sanchez-esque mistakes which result in points for the opposition.
Sitting with one of the elite wide receivers in the game going to waste in Larry Fitzgerald, the Cardinals need a quarterback who can deliver the ball to him on a consistent basis.
Teams have to cover Fitzgerald, but nobody respects the Cardinals' passing game right now, which ranked 24th in the NFL heading into Week 13.
Opposing defenses are doubling Fitzgerald on every play while going after whichever inept signal caller Ken Wisenhunt puts back there—essentially stifling any offense that the Cardinals try and run.
Smith would at least force teams to respect the pass, something that none of the current quarterbacks on the roster can accomplish.
Kansas City Chiefs
Kansas City has far too many weapons on for them to be as inept offensively as they currently are, and the blame falls squarely on the shoulders of Matt Cassel and Brady Quinn, neither of whom are legitimate starting quarterbacks in the NFL.
Dexter McCluster, Dwayne Bowe and Jonathan Baldwin are all explosive receiving options while Jamaal Charles is one of the better running backs in the NFL.
Yet neither Cassel or Quinn has been able to consistently get the ball into their hands, a major reason why the Chiefs have yet to score 200 points on the season.