With the 49ers starting second-year quarterback Colin Kaepernick over the last five games, plus the fact that the team is 4-1 in those games (including a road victory over the New England Patriots), it appears that Smith's days in San Francisco could be numbered.
Let's look at three teams that should pursue Smith in the offseason.
New York Jets
The Jets' quarterback situation is a complete mess right now, and after another disastrous season by Mark Sanchez, it's clear that New York needs to upgrade this position to have any chance to return to the playoffs.
Two of the biggest problems for the Jets quarterback this season has been passing accuracy and interceptions. Sanchez has thrown 17 interceptions this year, with a completion percentage of just 54.8 percent.
When Smith suffered a concussion and came out of the 49ers lineup, he was leading the NFL in completion percentage. He has only thrown five interceptions this season. Smith also ranks third in the NFL in QB rating.
For the Jets to compete in the AFC East, where the New England Patriots are always contenders and the Miami Dolphins are improving, they have to replace Sanchez with an accurate passer like Smith.
The team's defense is still good, but it's tough to win games in the NFL when your passing offense ranks third-to-last in the league.
With an accurate quarterback, the Arizona Cardinals offense would improve tremendously. It may even increase their win total by four or five next season.
Arizona ranks 29th in the league in passing, and have used several quarterbacks this season because of injuries to Kevin Kolb and John Skelton.
Throwing interceptions has been a major problem for the Cardinals this season, which is why Smith is the perfect choice for Arizona. Cardinals quarterbacks have thrown 18 interceptions this season, which is tied with three other teams for the most in the NFL.
Smith would also be motivated to play well against the 49ers twice every season since both teams are in the NFC West division, so the Cardinals are a good fit for him.
Kansas City Chiefs
Brady Quinn and Matt Cassel's poor performances at quarterback this season are a major reason why the Chiefs have the NFL's worst record at 2-12 going into Week 16 (the Jacksonville Jaguars are also 2-12).
The Chiefs have the second-worst passing attack in the NFL, but their running game is the seventh-best in the league. With an accurate quarterback like Smith, Kansas City could have an impressive, balanced offense.
Smith may not want to go to Kansas City if there are other teams closer to being a contender that are interested in him, but he could step into the Chiefs lineup and not have to worry about losing the starting quarterback job to anybody.
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