USA TODAY Sports
Alex Smith has likely appeared in his last game as a 49er.
If you look at Alex Smith on the sidelines, you get the distinct feeling that although he is pulling for his teammates, he is very unhappy. The joy and positive body language is gone, and Smith looks like he is just biding his time until his departure.
Barring an injury to Colin Kaepernick, Smith will most likely not see any meaningful action again as a 49er.
Smith got in for a cameo appearance late in the fourth quarter, with the 49ers holding a 27-6 lead. He was greeted with a well-deserved standing ovation by the Niners fans. Smith completed his only pass for six yards to fullback Bruce Miller.
Smith has shown great perseverance as the 49ers' quarterback. He elected to stay in San Francisco when Jim Harbaugh became the head coach prior to the 2011 season. Harbaugh wooed Smith and made him believe he was the 49ers' main man.
It seemed like a match made in heaven as Smith flourished under Harbaugh and led the 49ers to a 13-3 record in 2011. He also brought them to the NFC title game, where a couple of botched punt return plays ended the 49ers' season.
Unfortunately for Smith, Harbaugh has moved on and changed his allegiance to Kaeprnick as the quarterback.
The business of football dictates that the 49ers will not keep Smith and pay his $7.5 million salary in 2013. The 49ers simply cannot afford to have a backup eating up that much of their salary cap.