It seems like everyone is a winner from the deal that will send Alex Smith from the San Francisco 49ers to the Kansas City Chiefs: The 49ers got rid of an expensive backup quarterback for more draft picks, while the Chiefs now have a quarterback they can depend on, playing for a team that isn’t as bad as their 2 win record from last season shows.
The Chiefs traded away their second round pick in 2013 (the 34th pick) and a conditional mid-round pick in the 2014 draft, which now gives the San Francisco 49ers 15 picks in the next draft. Some might argue that sending Smith away is wasting great insurance – a quarterback that has proven he can win in this system with the 49ers, with this head coach. A quarterback who won games last season and reached the NFC championship game in the previous one.
But the 49ers didn’t want to keep Smith on the team by force, and didn’t want to pay him $16 million for the next couple of years just so he can sit on the bench. There is no doubt in their minds that Colin Kaepernick is the direction this franchise is going in. Smith just became redundant in that situation. Getting more picks while sending away a contract they didn’t want anything with anymore wasn’t such a bad move.
Let’s not forget that Smith wants to play, not sit on the bench. The 49ers were actually considering releasing him instead of trading him; Smith didn’t burn any bridges with the organization after getting benched for Kaepernick. He took the hit with dignity, knowing that it’s the business of the NFL.
And now the Chiefs and Andy Reid have a quarterback they’re happy with. Smith does need a certain kind of system around him, and the Chiefs don’t have the offensive line or the rushing attack the 49ers do, but he should do better than Cassel did last year, or Brady Quinn. Smith, under the right offensive coordinator and system isn’t as bad of a quarterback as some like to attribute to him.
Everyone wins here – including Alex Smith as well, who know has a teacher like Andy Reid to guide him, hoping that Reid isn’t burned out by the last couple of seasons in Philadelphia, or from his own personal tragedies that while not often brought up, have had to affect him in some way while his workplace collapsed into failure.