When the San Francisco 49ers committed to quarterback Colin Kaepernick, they effectively ended the Alex Smith era. Although the team continues to be ambiguous on Smith's future, Smith clearly wants out (via NFL.com).
So where are the most ideal locations for the former No. 1 pick?
For those unfamiliar with Smith, he led the 49ers to the 2011 NFC Conference Championship Game by out-dueling Drew Brees. Smith posted 299 yards and three touchdowns, thus neutralizing the theories that he could not put up big numbers when need be.
Over his past 25 games, Smith has thrown for 30 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. This displays the type of player the former Utah Ute has become: responsible and capable of coming up big when need be.
So where should he go?
Ryan Fitzpatrick has a cannon for an arm and will throw more touchdowns than Alex Smith.
With that being said, Fitzpatrick has thrown 23 interceptions over his past 25 games. Smith has thrown 10.
For a team that plans on winning via their run game and defense, Smith seems to be the perfect player to step in at quarterback.
Stevie Johnson would certainly benefit from the presence of a quarterback who has mastered the short-yardage passing game. Tight end Scott Chandler should do the same.
As for running backs C.J. Spiller and Fred Jackson, they will be used in the same capacity as Smith utilized Frank Gore.
Assuming Mario Williams anchors the defense as planned, Buffalo could make noise with Smith behind center.
In 2012-13, the Jacksonville Jaguars failed to develop any sense of consistency at the quarterback position.
Whether it was Blaine Gabbert struggling or Chad Henne filling in at a merely average level, the Jags stumbled to 2-14. A major reason was the fact that they threw 17 interceptions.
Alex Smith has thrown 10 over the past two seasons combined.
Furthermore, Jacksonville had a passing touchdown-to-interception ratio of 1.2. Smith has one of 3.0 over the past two years.
Need we say more?
With Justin Blackmon and Cecil Shorts developing into a reputable wide receiver tandem, the Jags have the firepower to support Smith.
The question is, can they improve their defense enough to support their mistake-free QB?
Chances are, former Seahawks defensive coordinator will make that his first order of business in his first season as head coach.
This could be a dream pairing.
Joe Haden may as well have been the quarterback in 2012-13.
The Cleveland Browns ranked 19th in passing offense in 2012-13.
They dropped to 28th in terms of passing touchdowns and threw the sixth-most interceptions in the NFL.
With Alex Smith having posted a 3.0 touchdown-to-interception ratio over the past two seasons, the Browns would certainly improve at quarterback with his presence.
As for who Smith could throw to, help may be on the way.
Wallace was a Pro Bowl selection in 2011 and led the NFL in 100-yard receiving games in 2010. Smith could help him return to those plateaus.
For what it's worth, Smith is younger than Brandon Weeden—the Browns' rookie quarterback in 2012-13.
A logical move in a division that preaches hard-nosed defense and responsibility on offense.
Both players are mobile enough to move outside of the pocket and accurate enough to keep their interceptions down.
With an absence of elite-level quarterbacks in the 2013 NFL draft, the Chiefs are likely to be looking to free agency to acquire their field general.
Although it would take a trade with San Francisco, Smith would work wonders in Reid's system. The question is, will Kansas City have the wide receivers to help?
That's a question unanswered at this stage. It certainly doesn't hurt to have Jamaal Charles in the backfield, though.
We know that this man would love to have Alex Smith on his team.
Chances are, the San Francisco 49ers aren't going to trade Alex Smith within the division.
If Smith were to somehow end up with the Arizona Cardinals, however, he'd be in a dream situation.
Head coach Bruce Arians is a master with quarterbacks. Ben Roethlisberger and Andrew Luck can attest to that.
If Arians' presence isn't powerful enough to draw your interest, how about wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald?
Fitzgerald has been plagued by inconsistent quarterback play in recent seasons. With Smith behind center, however, we could expect to see Fitzgerald return to his world-class ways.
Perhaps most important of all, we'd see Arizona improve from its ranking of dead last with 21 interceptions in 2012-13.
For as much of a circus as the New York Jets locker room has proven to be, there is one thing we simply cannot deny.
With a mistake-free quarterback, their defense is powerful enough to take them places.
In 2012-13, the Jets ranked 8th in total defense. Had they not dealt with short field situations due to turnovers, they may have finished that high in scoring defense.
Alex Smith just so happens to be one of the most responsible quarterbacks in the NFL. Consider this a match made in heaven.
Even if you did think it was a strange pairing to begin with.
With all of this being noted, there is an X-factor that outweighs everything the Jets can currently offer. That, of course, is the New York media.
As every athlete in the history of New York City has shown, it takes thick skin to survive the daily media onslaught. Not all are capable of handling that daunting task.
Judging by Smith's ability to swallow his pride and watch Colin Kaepernick take over as the starting quarter of the San Francisco 49ers, we'll say he can handle it.
Assuming they provide some perimeter help, the Jets are the best team for Alex Smith.