ESPN's Adam Schefter went on to confirm Barrows' report that the 49ers do not currently have a deal in place to trade Smith:
There is no deal in place right now, sources said.
There are still two weeks until the new league year begins (March 12 at 4 p.m. ET via CSN Bay Area) and trades can be finalized, and while there are likely negotiations going on throughout the offseason, the 49ers would gain nothing by having a deal already in place.
San Francisco wants to get a return worth making the move, and allowing teams the time to formulate deals and react to counterproposals is imperative to moving Smith in a timely fashion while still getting the value the team desires.
The 49ers aren’t just dealing away a backup quarterback, though. San Fran is trading a starting quarterback that lost his job after suffering a concussion (h/t New York Daily News) and being outperformed by the head coach’s handpicked protégé, Colin Kaepernick.
After never given the opportunity to find any kind of rhythm in the early portion his career, Smith had blossomed into a viable starter on a playoff-caliber team under Jim Harbaugh’s system.
While Kaepernick was the better fit for the 49ers in 2012 (helping the team reach the Super Bowl), Smith could be a major upgrade for many teams in the NFL.
There will be a few teams very interested in trading for Smith—a veteran that has been battled tested with adversity from Day 1 in the NFL—and likely candidates for a deal would be any franchise struggling at QB and looking for a fair-priced starter.
Smith never had the overwhelming power or elite numbers (averaging 6.56 yards per completion), but a passer rating of 104.1 and a completion percentage of 70.2 in the 10 games the veteran started in 2012 prove he now has a grasp for the NFL game.
With a $9 million cap hit over the next two seasons (h/t Spotrac), paying that much for a backup QB is not what San Francisco wants to use that money for, so a deal still will likely happen eventually.