UPDATE: Monday, Feb. 25, at 10:14 a.m. ET by Brandon Galvin
The Sacramento Bee's Matt Barrows refutes CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora's report that the 49ers have a deal in place to trade Alex Smith.
Matt Barrows @mattbarrows
With the caveat that everyone fibs at this time of the year: I'm told the #49ers do not have a trade deal in place for Alex Smith.2/25/2013, 2:43:50 PM
--End of update---
Jason La Canfora @JasonLaCanfora
The 49ers have expressed to others that a deal for QB Alex Smith is effectively complete. Can't be finalized til league year begins 3/122/24/2013, 10:51:58 PM
Jason La Canfora @JasonLaCanfora
so it's not official, both clubs view it at as it's effectively done. I do not know the other team. KC and JAX are 2 teams that make sense2/24/2013, 10:53:44 PM
UPDATE: Feb. 24, at 10:29 p.m. ET by Richard Langford
Cross the Browns off the list of teams that might be on the other end of this deal. Mary Kay Cabot, the Browns beat writer for the Cleveland Plain Dealer, passes along the news:
Mary Kay Cabot @MaryKayCabot
Per @JasonLaCanfora's report that 49ers have a trade in place for qb alex smith, #browns are not that team, source tells Pd.2/25/2013, 12:52:59 AM
---End of Update---
While the quarterback-deficient Jaguars make sense, general manager Dave Caldwell wanted it known his team is not involved.
According to the Jaguars beat writer for the Florida Times-Union, Ryan O'Halloran, Jacksonville is not a part of this deal:
Ryan O'Halloran @ryanohalloran
#jaguars GM Dave Caldwell says via text "not us" who has deal in place for SF QB Alex Smith.2/24/2013, 11:23:38 PM
So, maybe it's the Chiefs, or another team in need of a quarterback, but either way, this is a good deal for the 49ers.
This move is not surprising. The only real question seemed to be how Smith would find his way to a new team, not if.
While it was just days after ESPN's Chris Mortensen said the 49ers would not release the No. 1 overall selection from 2005, it was hard to envision a scenario where he would return to the team.
Smith's career got off to a slow start, but he has proven over the past two years that he deserves to be a starter in this league—just not with the 49ers.
On Nov. 11, Smith sustained a concussion in the first half against the St. Louis Rams. This opened the door for second-year quarterback Colin Kaepernick to show what he could do at the helm of the Niners offense, and the rest, as they say, is history.
Kaepernick started every remaining game for the 49ers and helped them get a play away from a Super Bowl title. While he suffered through some mistakes after taking over the starter's job, Kaepernick was impressive, and his physical tools are out of this world.
He left little doubt that he was the future of the 49ers franchise, and that left Smith in limbo.
Smith was playing outstanding football prior to losing his job. In fact, for the season, he completed 70.2 percent of his passes for a rating of 104.1.
While Smith would have been a luxury as a backup for the 49ers, he would have been a costly one. He is under contract for the next two seasons with a cap hit of at least $9 million in each. Not to mention, at 28 years old, Smith can't be anxious to be anyone's backup—especially considering his improved play the past two years.
So, while there is no indication what the 49ers will get in return, this should be viewed as a good deal for the team and for Smith.