It will be interesting to see how that changes the dynamic surrounding the San Francisco 49ers' erstwhile starter. NFL.com's Ian Rapoport said Monday on "NFL Total Access" that the 49ers plan to release Smith "fairly early" if they're unable to find a trading partner. The Vick news could increase the chance a deal gets done.
Smith earned serious respect in the 49ers' locker room with how he handled his demotion, and we've heard how the Niners now want to do right by him. It's a nice thought, but why exactly should San Francisco be so quick to part ways with Smith, who can be a substantial trade chip?
And let's be clear: When you have the player considered to be the most coveted quarterback on the market, you have a substantial trade chip.
"I don't think any player has those wishes granted," Harbaugh said. "They're under contract."
It was a subtle bit of gamesmanship by Harbaugh, who knows Smith has more trade value if the outcome of his 49ers career appears less inevitable.