Rumors don't fly, they take off.
And on Sunday, Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports sent out a 23-word tweet that set the NFL rumor mill on fire. It seems that the San Francisco 49ers effectively had a done deal in place to trade away their former starting quarterback Alex Smith.
Alex's new team, however, remained a mystery since the trade couldn't take place until March 12, when the new NFL season officially begins.
However, less than 24 hours later, the rumors seem to have been just that, rumors. Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee reported that the 49ers in fact did not have a deal in place.
However, before anyone goes back to the drawing board about which teams Alex Smith should be traded to, one has to remember that this is an interesting time in the NFL right now.
Free agency officially begins March 12 with the draft to follow in April. Teams are trying to position themselves for both offseason events while juggling their rosters and payrolls.
Had the 49ers front office come out and made the announcement that Alex Smith had been officially dealt away, any and all talks between potential suitors and the 49ers would have effectively ended.
Rumored to be interested teams like Jacksonville, Arizona, Cleveland or possibly a surprise team would have ended all talk with the 49ers, depriving San Francisco of the possibility of a better trade offer.
It is my belief that the 49ers and Chiefs have a verbal trade agreement in place, but for the mutual interest of both teams, nothing officially can be said until March 12.
If at the 11th hour the Eagles decide to unload Nick Foles, then the Chiefs could break their verbal agreement with the 49ers and pursue Foles, who Andy Reid drafted and coached in Philadelphia last year.
Again, this is just me, but yes, I do believe that the 49ers have a deal in place to trade Alex Smith away. The story was leaked, and to do damage control, the story was denied by the 49ers.
Jacksonville denied any rumors of a trade deal for Alex Smith (via Ryan O'Halloran of the Florida Times-Union and Cleveland has already said that it isn't interested (via Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer).
Ironically enough, as the Kansas City Star reported on Monday, the Chiefs issued no such denial to the Alex Smith trade rumor, and that's the giveaway.
Unless something dramatic unfolds between now and March 12, expect Alex Smith to become the new starting quarterback of the Kansas City Chiefs.
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