The San Francisco 49ers have a handful of players they need to decide whether or not to bring back for the 2013 season. The biggest name in that group is quarterback Alex Smith and a case can be made he will be under center for the Kansas City Chiefs next season.
The Chiefs are in a serious rebuild mode and a top priority for new head coach Andy Reid is finding a starting quarterback. Reid has the luxury of the No. 1 overall draft pick, but there no quarterbacks worthy of selecting first in the draft. There really are not many quarterbacks in the 2013 draft class worthy of even first-round picks.
New Chiefs general manager John Dorsey had this to say recently about the quarterbacks in the 2013 draft class,
There is no quarterback where personnel guys can definitely say, ‘He’s a first-round pick.’ There were so many inconsistencies in the collective group. There was not one guy that stood up and said, ‘I’m the guy in the position this year.’ There really wasn’t one clear-cut guy.
There are too many technical flaws, scheme flaws. There are so many different variables that there are a lot of people all over the place on naming the top four or five guys and who those guys would be.
Another problem for the Chiefs is the free agent market is thin at quarterback as well. This is what makes Alex Smith so attractive to the Chiefs. He is an experienced and accurate quarterback that provides Reid with a stable option to run his offense. Reid will likely install a version of the West Coast Offense which Smith excelled in with the 49ers.
The question is, will Smith be traded or will he be released and sign with the Chiefs? Kansas City has seven draft picks, one in each round. So Dorsey might be willing to trade two draft picks for Smith. This is likely the 49ers asking price for Smith. Don’t expect San Francisco to trade Smith for another player.
On April 1 if Smith is still on the roster, $7.5 million of his $8.5 million contract for the 2013 season will become fully guaranteed. Free agency starts March 12, but if the 49ers find no trading partners for Smith, he will be released by April 1. If Smith is released he will sign with the Chiefs as a free agent.