Alex Smith: What Does the Future Hold for the San Francisco 49ers Quarterback?

Matt Schreiber@@schreiberstakeAnalyst IIIJanuary 14, 2013

Alex Smith led the 49ers to the NFC Championship Game just over a year ago. The former No. 1 overall draft pick out of Utah was finally living up to his potential.

He started off the 2012-13 season on fire. Aside from a three-interception game in a loss to the New York Giants, Smith rarely made mistakes during the season.

The week before he went down with a concussion, Alex Smith completed 18-of-19 pass attempts for 232 yards and three touchdowns. It was good enough for a near perfect passer rating of 157.1 and a QBR of 92.

Then came November 11. Smith was knocked out of the game with a concussion which opened up the door for Colin Kaepernick. 

Kaepernick got his chance to prove he was worthy of a starting job in the NFL, and he never looked back. He has the 49ers sitting in the NFC Championship Game, which is right where Smith took them a year ago.

Some had criticized San Francisco 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh's decision to keep Kaepernick in when Smith regained full health, but his decision is paying off. His moves over the past two months make it clear that Colin Kaepernick is the quarterback of the future in San Francisco.

So what does this mean for Alex Smith? He does not deserve to be a backup quarterback. He has proven that he can start in this league.

I can only think he would request a trade once the season ends. I mean, take a look at his numbers in 2012-13. They don't "wow" you, but they are really efficient. The statistics are courtesy of ESPN.

at GB 20 26 211 76.9 2 0 83.5 125.6
vs DET 20 31 226 64.5 2 0 79.4 107.7
at MIN 24 35 204 68.6 1 1 55.2 81.1
at NYJ 12 21 143 57.1 0 0 46.4 78.1
vs BUF 18 24 303 75 3 0 99.2 156.3
vs NYG 19 30 200 63.3 0 3 24.8 43.1
vs SEA 14 23 140 60.9 1 1 35.3 74.5
at ARI 18 19 232 94.7 3 0 92 157.1
vs STL 7 8 72 87.5 1 0 51.4 143.8
vs ARI 1 1 6 100 0 0 78.9 91.7
Totals  153 218 1,737 70.2 13 5 70.1 104.1

OK, so Smith had only thrown for 300 yards once this season. That doesn't matter one bit. He only lost two games out of eight started.

Smith can take his efficiency elsewhere and be just as solid for another organization.

So why not take a quick look at a few teams in need of a quarterback, and see how Smith could potentially fit in.


New York Jets:

Anything sounds better than Mark Sanchez and Greg McElroy. Smith could quickly make an impact and make the Jets a better team. This is certainly a possibility.


Kansas City Chiefs:

The Chiefs currently hold the No. 1 pick. I can't help but think they are going to take Geno Smith out of West Virginia, but if they choose to go another route, Alex Smith could be in play for them.


Philadelphia Eagles:

There is a good chance the Eagles will cut ties with Michael Vick. This means they are going to rely on Nick Foles in Philadelphia to get them back to winning form? I don't think that's a recipe for success. They should take a look at Smith and see whether or not he fits into the system that their new head coach, whoever it is, brings to Philly.


Oakland Raiders:

OK, so we have Carson Palmer, Matt Leinart and Terrelle Pryor in Oakland. That's just not going to get it done. Bring Smith into the picture and the Raiders would have an accurate guy throwing to their group of young receivers.


Cleveland Browns:

At age 28, Smith is younger than Browns quarterback Brandon Weeden, who might I remind you will be entering just his second year in the NFL next season. I watched Weeden play this year and wasn't impressed one bit. The Browns should at least juggle the thought of bringing in Smith to lead an offense that is on the rise in Cleveland.


Jacksonville Jaguars:

I don't know if they will admit it in Jacksonville, but Blaine Gabbert is a bust. Chad Henne won't cut it either. The Jaguars have running backs who come out of nowhere and gain yards. They have two developing young receivers in Cecil Shorts III and Justin Blackmon. Smith could easily make this team much better if they use their No. 2 overall pick in the upcoming draft wisely.

Alright, so there are six teams that are in need of a quarterback who can benefit from the efficiency of Smith. He definitely deserves to be a starter in the NFL and not a backup to Colin Kaepernick.

The 2013 offseason is rapidly approaching. What uniform will Alex Smith toss on when training camp opens up?


    The Best NFL Team No One's Talking About

    NFL logo

    The Best NFL Team No One's Talking About

    Gary Davenport
    via Bleacher Report

    What Salary Caps Tell Us About NFL’s Most Extreme Teams

    NFL logo

    What Salary Caps Tell Us About NFL’s Most Extreme Teams

    The Ringer
    via The Ringer

    NFL Backfield Rankings for 2018

    San Francisco 49ers logo
    San Francisco 49ers

    NFL Backfield Rankings for 2018

    Kristopher Knox
    via Bleacher Report

    No Controversy: Big Ben Willing to Help Rookie

    NFL logo

    No Controversy: Big Ben Willing to Help Rookie

    Tim Daniels
    via Bleacher Report