After much anticipation the wait is finally over for QB Alex Smith, as he is now an official member of the Kansas City Chiefs. The news comes as no surprise, as the San Francisco 49ers have been diligently trying to find trade partners for the former number one overall pick. Smith lost his starting job midway through the 2012 season due to being concussed in a game against the St. Louis Rams, backup QB Colin Kaepernick took over the starting role and never relinquished it, leading the team to their first Super Bowl appearance since the 1994 season.
The trade benefited both sides as the 49ers received a second-round pick (33rd overall) as compensation for Smith’s services, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. It is no coincidence the trade was made after the NFL’s scouting combine, as the Kansas City Chiefs wanted to get a better feel of QB Geno Smith (West Virginia) and Matt Barkley (USC) before eventually pulling the trigger on the nine-year veteran.
The move is bittersweet for 49ers fans, as Smith has ironically become a fan favorite. Smith was loved in the locker room and will surely be missed. He handled the demotion with an unfound level of professionalism, while showing his true character as not only a player but as a person. The trade brings closure to any quarterback controversy moving forward, as the 49ers have clearly put all their faith in Kaepernick.
Now with the quarterback controversy behind them, the 49ers can now turn their focus on the NFL Draft as they now have three picks in the first two rounds, including the (31st), (34th), and (63rd) selection.
Fun fact: Alex Smith becomes the 5th Niners quarterback to start for the Kansas City Chiefs in the last 25 years. The others were QB Joe Montana, QB Steve DeBerg, QB Steve Bono, and QB Elvis Grbac.