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Alex Smith Unlikely To Be Released By San Francisco 49ers

According to ESPN’s Chris Mortensen, sources told him the San Francisco 49ers are “highly, highly, highly unlikely” to release QB Alex Smith. The 49ers must decide to trade or release Smith by April 1, otherwise, if he is still on the roster he will receive a $1 million bonus and his $7.5 million salary would become guaranteed.

It should not surprise Niner fans that the 49ers are making it seem like they will either trade or keep the quarterback. The reason being if other teams knew the 49ers would release Smith, it lessens the leverage San Francisco’s front office has in making a trade. In other words, teams would simply wait for him to be released to sign him, rather than give up draft picks in a trade.

General Manager Trent Baalke spoke at the NFL combine on Thursday and had this to say about Smith’s future with the 49ers:

We had a great discussion. I can’t say enough good things. And I think if you ask anyone in our organization, they would say the same thing: He is a pro’s pro. And I have nothing but great respect for him, his family, and we’re certainly going to do everything in our power to make the best decision for everyone involved.

We’re going to look at all options available. Are we going to trade him for sure? No, that hasn’t been decided.

The 49ers can afford to keep Smith and all of his $8.5 million salary for next season. Smith and Colin Kaepernick will be paid a combined $10 million in 2013. The bigger question is how willing and how comfortable would Smith be in being the backup next season? Really, he does not have a say in the matter. But, if you keep a disgruntled quarterback on your roster just to hang onto him so a division rival like the Arizona Cardinals cannot sign him, could cause headaches for the team during the season.

The 49ers are really not in need of more draft picks as they have an NFL-high 11 selections. But a team can never have too many draft picks. San Francisco has two picks in rounds three through seven, so this give them leverage in trade talks with teams about Smith. The Niners can play hardball and demand the draft picks they want. And if they don’t receive what they are asking for, Baalke and company seem to be willing to keep Smith on the roster.

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Tags: 49ers 2013 49ers Draft Alex Smith NFL Combine San Francisco 49ers Trent Baalke

  • libertyORdeath84

    Why wasn’t Coach Harbaugh at the dinner with Alex and his wife? Awkward maybe? No. Why should he? Alex became just another piece of meat stuck at the bottom of the downstair’s freezer after he had no use for him anymore. Or maybe, it was because of a prior engagement with his brother who he has still not spoken to since the Superbowl…let it go Jim, just admit you got out-coached by a bit more cerebral sibling and just the wrong moment to put #6 on the trophy case. Don’t fret it…you and Colin will one day be riding off in the sunset togethe.

  • loverpoint

    Alex Smith will be traded, and that is why Baalke had dinner with him. I think there have already been 5 teams that have inquired about Smith and made an offer. Baalke’s dinner was to talk ask Alex Smith and his wife what city they prefer going to?
    The reason why Smith will not be going to Arizona is because Whisenhunt is no longer the coach. It was Whisenhunt that wanted Smith.

    The really serious bidders for Smith are Buffalo, Cleveland , and Kansas City. With teams like Jacksonville, Tennessee, NYJ’s, and Minnesota keeping a watchful eye.

  • thetony

    Maybe this is the reason why goldson hasnt been signed because they want teams to think that they are prepared to keep smith and drop goldson to free up the money… I think its a bluff I cant see Smith coming back and getting all that money to be a backup..