Let’s start at the beginning...
It was spring 2005. The Niners were on the clock. “With the first pick in the 2005 NFL draft, the 49ers">San Francisco 49ers pick Alex Smith from Utah.” The Niners got their man, and they were destined to return to their glory days as an elite NFL franchise.
Of course, it didn’t really work out like that.
It wouldn’t be fair to blame Alex for all of his shortcomings. With six different OCs in as as many years, Alex definitely had a lot to overcome. The Niners passed on last year's Super Bowl MVP (and Northern California native) Aaron Rodgers for Alex Smith—a painful subject in San Francisco. But again, to be fair, Alex hardly had the same situation Aaron did.
Whatever is to blame, whatever is the reason, Alex’s career has been tremendously disappointing thus far.
Alex turned 27 recently. He is still a relatively young guy in QB years. He has a new coaching staff in San Francisco and what looks like (as Jim Harbaugh would put it) “the perfect competitive situation” in San Francisco. Many people think he has been a victim of a sloppy organization. Others think that regardless, he has proven himself to not be a winner at the NFL level.
Assuming he re-signs with the Niners (which is almost guaranteed at this point), let’s take a look at three possible paths to his career moving forward.