Chiefs, Niners Agree to Smith TradeBy Alex H.
San Francisco and Kansas City have agreed in principle to a trade for quarterback Alex Smith, according to reports surfacing on Wednesday.
The deal cannot become official until March 12, the start of the NFL’s new season.
Smith will follow in the footsteps of 49ers legend Joe Montana and start under center for the Chiefs next season.
The move comes after the seven-year veteran was replaced in the Niners’ starting lineup by Colin Kaepernick, following a concussion-based injury in Week 10 of last season. Kaepernick jumpstarted the San Francisco offense and led the team to an NFC championship and a trip to the Super Bowl.
BettingSports.com reported during the lead up to Super Bowl XLVII that Smith had requested an early release from the three-year contract he signed last summer. The Niners’ front office however decided that a release was not in the best interests of the organization, and set about arranging a trade.
Smith was reportedly on the radar of a number of teams in need of a solid quarterback, including Arizona, Buffalo, Jacksonville and Oakland. It was the Chiefs that secured the deal though.
Under new head coach Andy Reid, Kansas City is in need of a quarterback. Matt Cassel – who signed a $63 million, six-year contract in 2009 – has fallen out of favor, having led the side to just won winning season in four. He started eight games, compiling a 1-7 record, this past season before being replaced by Brady Quinn. Quinn also went 1-7, and the Chiefs secured the No. 1 overall pick in April’s NFL Draft.
Some expected Reid and the Kansas City front office to use that No. 1 pick on a quarterback, but the talent level coming out of college is less than stellar.
Currently, West Virginia’s Geno Smith is the top-rated quarterback in the draft, but Scout Inc. has him at No. 27 on its list of incoming prospects. Matt Barkley – who many expected to enter last year’s draft, and who is probably thinking he should have – had a poor season and injury is putting potential suitors off. That being said, the USC triggerman is apparently firmly in the sites of the Arizona Cardinals.
Other quarterbacks heading into the draft include Kansas State’s Heisman candidate Collin Klein, Oklahoma’s Landry Jones, Tennessee’s Tyler Bray, and Louisiana Tech’s Colby Cameron. Apparently none of these are suited to the Chiefs’ needs.
Free agency looks equally as barren. Joe Flacco is the highest profile quarterback about to hit the market, but most expect him to resign with Baltimore before GM’s can even make a call. After Flacco, Jason Campbell is the only quarterback of note, and he’s not exactly proven his worth as a starter.
Reid and Co. therefore decided that Smith was the best option at this time.
According to reports, Smith will head to Kansas City in exchange for the Chiefs’ second round pick (34th overall) in the upcoming draft and a conditional mid-round pick in the 2014 draft.
There are some that might consider the Chiefs to have gotten off lightly in this particular deal. San Francisco meanwhile continues to stockpile draft picks for this year. In addition to the team’s seven automatic picks, the Niners have also secured additional picks in the third round (from Carolina), fifth round (Indianapolis), sixth round (Miami), seventh round (Cincinnati), and now this second round pick from Kansas City.
The (unofficial) trade has seen movement on the NFL futures. Kansas City was considered 50/1 to win Super Bowl XLVIII next February when the initial futures list was released by bookmakers. Those odds have now shortened to 40/1 in the wake of the trade being made public.
San Francisco remains the favorite to lift the Vince Lombardi trophy, with odds currently standing at 7/1. Denver, who was originally tied with the Niners, has seen its odds lengthen slightly to 15/2.
Bovada is offering an assortment of prop bets relating to Alex Smith.
Yards: the over/under on passing yards next season has been set at 3,000 yards. Smith has only once thrown for more than 3,000 yards (2011) although he was on pace for that number before injury struck this past season.
Touchdowns: the over/under is set at 18.5. The most touchdowns Smith – known for being a game manager – has passed for in a season is 17 (2011) followed by 16 (2006). However, he threw 13 scoring strikes in nine games in 2012.
Interceptions: the over/under is set at 10.5. Smith threw five interceptions before injury last season and five in 2011. He has thrown 63 interceptions in 80 career games.
Bovada is also offering a line on whether or not Kansas City uses the No. 1 overall pick to select Texas A&M outside linebacker Luke Jockel. Many, including the bookmakers, believe this will happen, and odds currently stand at 1/3. Bettors can get 2/1 odds if they believe the Chiefs will pick somebody else.