NFL

Alex Smith: Best Landing Spots for 49ers Quarterback

NEW ORLEANS, LA - FEBRUARY 03:  Alex Smith #11 of the San Francisco 49ers looks on from the sideline against the Baltimore Ravens during Super Bowl XLVII at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on February 3, 2013 in New Orleans, Louisiana. The Ravens won 34-31.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Jamie Squire/Getty Images
Alex BallentineFeatured ColumnistFebruary 9, 2013

Alex Smith had one of the most bittersweet seasons in 2012. He may be one of the only quarterbacks in NFL history to lose the starting job while boasting one of the league's top passer ratings. 

When the 49ers elected to stick with Colin Kaepernick as the team's starter halfway through the season, it wasn't exactly a popular decision. However, it turned out to be the right one. Kaepernick led the team to the Super Bowl. 

While Kaepernick is definitely the quarterback of the future, Smith at least played his way into being a hot commodity this offseason. Whether the team decides to grant him a release or trade him, there will definitely be a market for a quarterback with the experience and skill set of Smith. 

Of all the potential suitors, these three teams are the best fits for the 49ers quarterback. 

 

Kansas City Chiefs

The Kansas City Chiefs own the first pick in the draft, so whether or not they pursue Smith will tell us a lot about their plan for the pick. 

Smith should be among those that hope they aren't all that interested in Geno Smith. He would thrive in Kansas City. As bad as the Chiefs were last season, they have the pieces to put a good offense on the field. 

Jon Baldwin is a blossoming receiver, Jamaal Charles remains one of the most explosive backs in football and the offensive line is solid enough to keep Smith upright. With Andy Reid bringing his West Coast offense, all of the elements are there for a quick turnaround. 

A savvy veteran like Smith would make the Chiefs a contender a lot quicker than bringing in a rookie and hoping for the best. 

 

Cleveland Browns

Smith would be a great fit for the Cleveland Browns if they can find a way to bring him in. 

Trent Richardson is one of the most promising running backs in the league. Joe Thomas is an elite left tackle, the Browns have great pass protection from the offensive line as a whole and Josh Gordon should be a deep threat for years to come. 

Throw in the fact that new Browns offensive coordinator Norv Turner coached Smith in 2006 and you have legitimate ties to the coaching staff. 

Nothing coming out of Cleveland has indicated that Brandon Weeden is a sure thing to be the starter next season, and Smith would be the most viable option to contend for the job. 

 

Jacksonville Jaguars

The Jaguars are in a situation similar to the Chiefs'. They appear to have all of the pieces in place for a quick turnaround on offense except for a quarterback. 

Cecil Shorts and Justin Blackmon are young, promising receivers that can stretch the field. Maurice Jones-Drew has shown he's an elite back year in and year out, and Marcedes Lewis is an underrated tight end. The offensive line isn't even as bad as advertised with Eugene Monroe at left tackle. 

The issue for the Jaguars has been the play of Blaine Gabbert and Chad Henne. Gabbert hasn't shown much in his short time as starter, and Henne is a good backup but not the kind of player you want leading the franchise. 

Smith is the kind of efficient passer that would help the Jaguars improve immediately.

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