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Andy Reid tried trading for Alex Smith as Eagles coach

When the San Francisco 49ers no longer had use for Alex Smith last season, Kansas City Chiefs coach Andy Reid jumped on a chance to trade a pair of draft picks for the veteran passer.

For the newly hired Reid, it was a trade many years in the making. That's because during his run with the Philadelphia Eagles, the coach "called the 49ers multiple times to inquire about trading for Smith," Reid told The New York Times.

Reid has been fond of Smith dating back to the QB's college career at Utah. The Times reported Saturday that Reid "enjoyed watching how (Smith) improved" over the years as an NFL passer.

The quarterback's steady play was lauded as a comeback tale in 2011, when he guided the 49ers to the playoffs. But after Colin Kaepernick seized the job last season, Smith found himself the odd man out. Reid simultaneously endured troubles of his own, seeing a long, productive career with the Eagles crumble into pieces.

Now the two are together in Kansas City, and Smith told the newspaper they bear the "scars" of what's come before. Unlike the 49ers, Reid doesn't see prohibitive limitations in Smith, saying: "He loves to play, and he's tough."

Airdropped into a Chiefs franchise that bottomed out last season, Reid and Smith are, at last, a pair.

"We'd love to stick it to everybody who thought we couldn't do it," Smith said, "he and I included."

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