ESPN.com's Adam Schefter reports:
The San Francisco 49ers will attempt to trade quarterback Alex Smith this offseason, according to league sources, and some believe they will be able to do it because there is not a great supply of available quarterbacks and there is a demand for Smith.
Many casual fans will scoff at the notion that Smith is a viable starter, given his struggles early in his career. After all, until Jim Harbaugh showed up in 2011, Smith had a record of 19-31, completed just 57 percent of his passes and threw 51 touchdowns (against 53 interceptions).
But, if his first overall draft selection wasn't enough of a reminder, Smith always had the tools to succeed. He was simply beset by numerous difficulties, including poor coaching (minus his 2006 season with Norv Turner), coaching turnover, poor protection and a lack of talent at the wide receiver position.
Smith didn't lose his job to Colin Kaepernick because he played poorly, either. He played as well as any quarterback in the NFL leading up to the concussion that ultimately sealed his fate this past season.
Given another chance to start for a team that possesses a strong rushing attack and an offensive coordinator that understands how to get the most out of Smith's limits as a passer, he'll shine in 2013 and beyond.
So which teams might be willing to make a deal for Smith's services?
Note: As a benchmark to see how much Smith may be worth, remember that the Denver Broncos got the New York Jets to part with a fourth-round and sixth-round pick for Tim Tebow and a seventh-round pick (h/t ESPN.com news services).
Thus, it seems likely that Smith would be worth a third-round pick and at the least an early fourth-round pick.