No trades can be made official until the league year starts on March 12, but FOX Sports insider and NFL Network contributor Jay Glazer reported Wednesday that the Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers have agreed upon a trade that will send Alex Smith to K.C. This move will have a domino effect that impacts both involved teams, free agent quarterbacks and, of course, the 2013 NFL Draft (with Kansas City holding the first pick). What are your strongest feelings about this development?
Reid and Smith make a perfect match in Kansas CityThe winner in this is Alex Smith. He gets to start again and play for a QB-friendly coach in Andy Reid. Smith is a very smart quarterback, and Reid is a very creative offensive coach who will take advantage of his new quarterback's intelligence to attack defenses in multiple ways.
With weapons at Reid's disposal and a wise QB behind center, the Chiefs' offense should see a nice jump in production this year.
Rich get richer: Niners stockpiling draft picks with dynasty in mindWe can talk about the Chiefs here -- a team that moved a step closer to NFL relevancy by acquiring Alex Smith. We can talk about the Jacksonville Jaguars -- a team that will now seemingly get to pick whichever quarterback it wants at No. 2 overall. But the most impactful aspect of this trade isn't about either of those teams. It's about the 49ers.
A new stadium isn't the only big thing they're building in Santa Clara. Now, with two more draft picks (which Ian Rapoport reported will be a 2013 second-round selection and a 2014 conditional pick), the 49ers can continue construction on a dynasty. This is a team that has made smart picks for several years. Adding to that arsenal will only make San Francisco a more likely contender to become the NFL's most dangerous team for at least the next five seasons.
Massive ripple effect on 2013 NFL Draft landscapeThe 49ers' decision to trade Alex Smith to the Kansas City Chiefs completely alters the draft landscape when it comes to quarterbacks. With Geno Smith out of the discussion at No. 1, the focus immediately shifts to two draft slots: No. 7 (Arizona Cardinals) and No. 8 (Buffalo Bills). Both teams are in desperate need of a franchise-caliber quarterback, and the paucity of quality signal-callers available on the free-agent market will force the Bills and Cardinals to take a long look at Geno Smith as their potential quarterback of the future.
For the Cardinals, the trade could also lead Bruce Arians to consider the long-term potential of Smith versus that of Matt Barkley. While Smith is viewed as a better athlete and overall prospect than his USC counterpart, the style of play preferred by Arians could make Barkley a better fit in Arizona. With several pro days and private workouts to determine the better candidate, the race for the No. 1 spot on the quarterback board suddenly became a lot closer than it appeared to be a few days ago.
Chiefs poised for huge turnaround season in 2013The Kansas City Chiefs had a terrible record last year at 2-14, but they weren't terrible in all areas. Mostly, their quarterback was awful. Matt Cassel turned the ball over 19 times in just nine games, robbing the team of countless offensive opportunities. Alex Smith, meanwhile, turned the ball over just six times in 10 games. He'll bring steadiness to the Chiefs, who also have quarterback guru Andy Reid to help.
What's this all mean? That Kansas City is poised to be 2013's big turnaround team. With six Pro Bowlers and a refreshed franchise, I'd be surprised if that didn't happen.
Where does Geno Smith end up now?This is a great move by the Chiefs. They greatly improved at quarterback, will be able to take Luke Joeckel with the first overall pick, and undoubtedly will challenge the Denver Broncos for the AFC West title. Remember, the Chiefs had six Pro Bowlers last year and were just a quarterback (and a coach) away. Yes, Alex Smith is still a question mark, but to me, it's always been about the coaching. Smith did well with Jim Harbaugh and Norv Turner (who was his offensive coordinator in 2006), so I assume he'll be just fine with Andy Reid.
The biggest question is, who moves first on Geno Smith? Some might say the Cardinals, but I still think they draft Eric Fisher (the Birds must rebuild that offensive line) and work out a new deal with Kevin Kolb. The Cardinals could then hope Matt Barkley falls to them in the second round, or they could wait even longer for a guy like Tyler Bray to develop for the future. As for Geno Smith, I say he ends up with the Bills at No. 8, as the only QB who goes in the first-round.
Clearly, the market for Smith was smaller than expectedMy first thought is: Poor Jamaal Charles. Now that Andy Reid has a quarterback, Charles will be underutilized, just like LeSean McCoy was in Philadelphia. Is there a support group for that? We can call it B.I.B.A. (Backs Ignored By Andy). Meetings every Monday morning at 9 a.m. -- you can conference in if you can't attend in person.
OK, here's the big thing I take away from this: The market for Alex Smith apparently was very small, which is sort of baffling. The trade value in return is pretty standard, considering what the price tag on a new contract with Smith will wind up being. But this trade was done early. There was plenty of time -- another 10 days at least -- to conduct a bidding war for the best available QB this offseason. There was plenty of time to get a package like this -- why wouldn't the Niners see if they could get a little more? Unless, of course, there wasn't going to be a bidding war. There's no way San Francisco pulls the trigger on this trade as quickly as it did unless the Niners knew no other teams would be interested -- either because of a specific salary-cap situation or, more likely, a lack of belief in Smith as a true franchise QB.
I like Alex Smith. However, he's caught up in an NFL era during which teams don't just want their QBs to win -- they want them to run as well as they can pass and put up video-game numbers. But Smith is a good enough QB to capture a title. He's sort of a poor man's Eli Manning -- who has his share of believers and non-believers, as well.
Kansas City's paying way too steep a priceI think the Chiefs are making a mistake. The price is too high (especially if the conditional pick ends up being another second-rounder, as some initial reports have stated). We have a catalogue on Alex Smith, and it's not impressive. Sure, he had a nice completion percentage (70.2) in 2012. You'll hear that stat touted, as well as his 104.1 passer rating last season. He did well with Jim Harbaugh in San Francisco.
Nonetheless, Smith's career numbers are far less gaudy -- as in, not gaudy at all. He's a career sub-60 percent passer who, even with last season's 100-plus figure, owns a career passer rating south of 80. His best years (by far) came under Harbaugh. But guess who won't be going to Kansas City with him?
When the Chicago Bears sent two picks (third rounders) to the Miami Dolphins for Brandon Marshall, it made sense, not only because the Bears needed him, but also because of the catalogue we had on Marshall. The eccentric wideout had caught 474 balls in the previous five years. Smith is a Band-Aid, not a franchise maker. Trading two high picks is mortgaging the future for a guy who probably isn't the future. If he's a bridge to a better player down the line, then the compensation given to the 49ers should be more reflective of that.