On Wednesday, the NFC Champion San Francisco 49ers agreed to trade backup quarterback Alex Smith to the Kansas City Chiefs in exchange for its 2nd round pick in this year's draft and a conditional mid-round pick in 2014.
Though the trade will not be made official until the beginning of the new league year on March 12, the deal is all but done.
With new head coach Andy Reid taking over the reins in Kansas City, it's fitting that the franchise starts over with a new quarterback under center. The former No. 1 pick in the 2005 draft revitalized his doomed career by carrying the Niners offense to the NFC Championship in 2011. Smith entered 2012 with high hopes, but a concussion suffered against St. Louis in early November ended his campaign.
Second-year quarterback Colin Kaepernick took over the job while Smith sat out, and the rest is history. The 25-year old Kaepernick used both his arm and his legs to take the Niners all the way to the Super Bowl in just his second season in the league.
Smith seemingly lost his job unfairly to the younger Colin, but that's just how this league works. You get hurt, sit out a couple games and risk losing your job to someone who does it better. It's tough to say whether the 49ers still could have made the Super Bowl with Smith under center all season (I vote no), but either way Kaepernick did what he had to do to stay the starter.
That's why it didn't take long for Smith to find a new job. The Niners knew he wouldn't be happy sitting on the bench and that there would be other teams willing to make a move for him. Reid wanted his own quarterback as he begins a new era in Kansas City, and he was willing to give up a couple of draft picks to accomplish this.
I personally believe this was a great move for both sides. Kansas City gets its franchise quarterback who, by the way, is still only 28. So he could give the Chiefs a good 5-6 years. But also the Niners get a couple of picks for a guy who would have been riding the bench anyways. Win-win.
It's also been reported by ESPN's Adam Schefter that the Chiefs are expecting to cut Matt Cassel once the trade goes through. It looks like even the Cardinals could be winners in this deal: it'll allow them to snatch up Cassel via free agency.
Anyone else getting excited to see how the 2013 Chiefs' offense looks? Depending on what happens to wideout Dwayne Bowe, of course, who will hit the free agent market in a couple of weeks.
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