Grading Chiefs, 49ers in Alex Smith Trade
The Kansas City Chiefs have completed a trade with the San Francisco 49ers for quarterback Alex Smith.
The deal will become official on March 12, per Fox Sports' Jay Glazer, who broke the news on Twitter.
According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, the Chiefs will give the 49ers their second-round pick in this year's draft, along with "another conditional mid-round pick in 2014."
(ProFotballTalk.com later reported that the "mid-round pick" would start as a third-rounder which can become a second-rounder if "certain benchmarks are met.")
Time to grade this trade from both angles.
Chiefs: Fit with Andy Reid
Despite flaming out in Philadelphia due to incompetence and injuries at the signal-caller and offensive line positions, Andy Reid is a quarterback-molding marvel.
Remember how good he made Kevin Kolb look before the trade with the Arizona Cardinals?
Alex Smith went from an average game manager to an efficient winner under the tutelage of Jim Harbaugh in San Francisco, and Reid should be able to achieve similar success with the soon-to-be 29-year-old signal-caller.
Running back Jamaal Charles is the offensive focal point, and the Chiefs have a solid offensive line.
If Dwayne Bowe is signed to a multi-year deal or hit with the franchise tag again, the Kansas City offense should be drastically improved with Smith under center.
Over the last two regular seasons, Smith threw 30 touchdowns to only 10 interceptions in 26 games.
49ers: Picks Galore
Check out this tweet outlining the projected 49ers picks in the 2013 draft:
If KC's 2 to SF accurate, here are the Niners' picks: 1, 2, 2, 3, 3, 4, 5, 5, 6, 6, 7, 7. Also projected to get 4, 7, 7 comp picks. Unreal.— Jimmy Kempski (@Jimmy_Beast) February 27, 2013
In particular, grabbing that second pick in the second round is huge for San Francisco.
The 49ers now have more ammunition for a trade up. This move could allow them to swing a deal for a current NFL player, or they could simply use it as an opportunity to get great value on another Round 2 prospect.
The Chiefs still hold the No. 1 overall pick, which is good.
However, they no longer have pick No. 34, an extremely valuable selection in its own right.
I can't fault Kansas City for going after its guy—at the game's most vital position, no less—but compensating San Francisco with an early second-round pick and a second- or-third-round pick in 2014 is simply too expensive.
The Chiefs must not have liked any quarterback enough to go No. 1 overall and figured there wouldn't be a viable signal-caller in Round 2, but it's difficult to get totally on board with what they gave up for Alex Smith.
49ers: San Francisco's QB Situation
Colin Kaepernick is the 49ers' franchise quarterback.
That we know.
But with Alex Smith gone, what does San Francisco's backup situation look like?
Currently (when the deal goes through), Scott Tolzien is the 49ers' second-string quarterback.
He played well in the 2012 preseason, so there's a decent chance he's on the team in 2013.
It shouldn't be difficult for San Francisco to acquire a stopgap backup in free agency or take a mid-round flier on a young signal-caller.
Really, the impact of Smith leaving the 49ers is minimal.
Overall Grade: Chiefs
Don't get it twisted; the Chiefs didn't get hosed in this deal.
Andy Reid knows what he can get out of quarterbacks, and Alex Smith's intelligence and improving play were likely what led to Kansas City's aggressive pursuit of the San Francisco signal-caller.
However, giving up two picks, one being the No. 34 overall selection, is extremely costly and certainly adds to the overall risk of the move.
But the Chiefs got their guy, filled the most critical void on the roster and will let Reid go to work on a quarterback who played in the NFC title game a year ago.
Overall Grade: 49ers
The 49ers should have 15—count 'em—15 picks in the upcoming draft.
That's borderline unfair.
The San Francisco front office realized the market was good for Alex Smith and wasn't afraid to unload him to gather more draft selections.
Although the backup quarterback situation is shaky, it's not a major concern moving forward.
Two years ago, some believed the 49ers would cut Smith. Instead, Jim Harbaugh and Co. turned him into an early second-round pick and a conditional second- or-third-rounder in 2014.
Fantastic work by general manager Trent Baalke and the rest of San Francisco's staff.
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