With the San Francisco 49ers losing Super Bowl XLVII, it is safe to say the Alex Smith era has officially ended. An era that lasted from 2005-2012, was filled with both frustation and compassion, during his tenure. However, all good things come to an end, just like QB Joe Montana being shipped off to Kansas City and WR Jerry Rice jumping ship to across bay area rival Oakland Raiders.
So with Alex Smith all but gone, where should he be traded to? And how much should the Harbaalke (Jim Harbaugh and Trent Baalke) regime expect in return? A once damaged goods product, is now one of the hottest commodities in free-agency. After reviewing the possible suitors, I have compiled the top three teams that make the most sense, along with the expected compensation they should receive.
1. Kansas City Chiefs- A new coach, new scheme, and new regime. Everything about the new look Kansas City Chiefs has received a much needed face-lift. Andy Reid in dire need of a franchise quarterback will not “reach” for Geno Smith (West Virginia) in the draft, making free-agency his target market. Reid’s new offensive coordinator Doug Pederson will run some form of the West Coast Offense, a system familiar with Alex Smith’s skill set. The combination makes for a perfect match in heaven, and if Smith lands in Kansas City, bless him.
Compensation: In order to have his services however, everything comes at a price. It remains highly unlikely that Kansas City will part ways with their number one overall pick, however should they trade down before or during the draft, San Francisco may be fortunate enough to land a mid-first to early second-round draft pick. If this offer is on the table, the Harbaalke regime would be wise to pull the trigger without hesitation. If Kansas City offers anything lower than a third-round pick, as form of compensation, Haarbalke should look elsewhere as the asking price is now unfavorable.
2. Jacksonville Jaguars- Another struggling team with a new coach, new scheme, and new regime, the Jacksonville Jaguars, led by new head coach Gus Bradley will be looking for a new reliable quarterback. They have all but given up on former first-round pick Blaine Gabbert making the acquisition of Alex Smith very attractive. Owner Shahid Khan, is doing everything in his power to turn this franchise around, but it all starts with a quality NFL quarterback, making Smith an ideal fit.
Compensation: Like, the Kansas City Chiefs, the Jaguars will be reluctant to part ways with their first-round draft pick. However, should they trade down, the 49ers will most likely receive a similar offer to the Chiefs, a mid to late first-round draft pick or at the very least a third-round selection.
3. New York Jets- Oh yes, the beloved New York J-E-T-S, JETS-JETS-JETS! This destination is the most intriguing because unlike the other two, Alex Smith would be playing in a big market city. New York Jets Head Coach Rex Ryan is definitely on the hot seat, and in desperate need of a quarterback. Mark Sanchez is no longer the answer making Ryan look elsewhere. He can no longer afford to wait on the development of a young rookie quarterback, so free-agency is his only option. All Ryan needs is a game manager and Alex Smith fits the bill perfectly.
Compensation: Unlike the Kansas City Chiefs and Jacksonville Jaguars, the Jets already have the right compensation in place, to strike a deal now. And the answer may surprise you. The 49ers should not look for a mid-first round draft pick that the Jets possess. Instead, they should take a high risk/high reward on the best cornerback in the game today in Darrelle Revis. Although coming off a torn ACL, in which he missed the remaining 14 games of the regular season, Revis would be the shutdown corner the 49ers covet, while only giving up in return backup compensation. The move would allow the 49ers to draft other needs with their 14 draft picks, most notably defensive line and a pass rush specialist. Furthermore, they can possibly even trade-up and get one of the premier players in this draft. The trade would provide the 49ers with great flexibility, and one that makes sense for all parties.