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Alex Smith was a class-act in San Francisco.
Managing the salary cap and giving your team a chance to compete is the goal of every GM in pro football. Success in the NFL can be a very tenuous thing and it's very difficult to sustain long-term success because of cap constraints.
San Francisco is a team that has had very good success over the past two years, reaching the NFC title game in 2011 and the Super Bowl this past season. Losing in those two games only makes it more imperative for the 49ers to go all the way in the upcoming year. Anything less than a Super Bowl victory will be a disappointment.
A franchise usually has a short window of opportunity to win a championship. Although the 49ers' window is currently wide open, they don't want to miss it this upcoming season.
With the taste of defeat still fresh in the minds of 49ers players and management, it is now up to GM Trent Baalke to restock the roster to give the team the best chance of winning it all this time around.
The trade of Alex Smith to the Chiefs will give the 49ers a very good draft pick this year, (No. 34 overall). In addition, they will get a conditional pick in 2014. The other main benefit of the trade is that the 49ers will take $8.5 million off the books.
The savings will give the 49ers more room to maneuver as far as signing their own free agents. They will also be able to look outside their system for an impact free agent or two.
The 49ers are well positioned to capitalize on a deep draft, as they have five selections in the top 93-overall picks. In addition, with 15 total picks, the 49ers can be very creative and aggressive in making deals to get the players they truly covet.