When Colin Kaepernick took over for the injured Alex Smith in week 10 and then threw for two touchdowns and 243 yards in week 11, the Alex Smith era in San Francisco was in jeopardy. Kaepernick led the 49ers to a 5-2 finish and became the talk of the league because of his phenomenal athleticism from the quarterback position. Kaepernick got the nod in the playoffs and led San Fran to the Super Bowl where they lost to the Ravens, but his effort was good enough to solidify his starting spot for next season. On Wednesday, ESPN reported that the Chiefs and 49ers have agreed to a trade which would send Smith to Kansas City in return for two draft picks. With Andy Reid coming in as their new head coach and no #1 quarterback, they were looked at as possible suitors for a long time now. Below are the details of the trade and how I think each team faired in the deal.
- 49ers receive 33rd overall pick in 2013 draft, and Chiefs conditional 2014 pick
- Chiefs receive Alex Smith
John Harbaugh never loved Alex Smith he only really tolerated him, so when Smith went down with an injury he jumped on the opportunity to start his golden boy Colin Kaepernick. This trade of Smith was inevitable and they got quality picks for an experienced, 28-year-old starting quarterback. In a deep draft that has no stand out guys, the Niners could draft very talented players with their 31st, newly acquired 33rd (from the Chiefs), and 63rd picks in the 2013 Draft to sure up their few needs on the offensive side of the ball. More picks means more weapons for Harbaugh to surround his protégé Kaepernick with. They got the market price for Smith and shipped him out of conference. Based on Harbaugh’s success rate in the draft these picks could be gems for the already stacked 49ers roster.
The beginning of the Andy Reid era began with fulfilling their biggest need, a quarterback. Although he can’t be described as a franchise quarterback, he was the best one on the market especially with a very weak QB class in the draft. The only potential downfall of this trade for the Chiefs is the fact that Smith is a game manager not a game changer. He is definitely a better option than Matt Cassel who is absolutely on his way out. He will have a decent surrounding cast with Dwayne Bowe on the outside and Jamaal Charles in the backfield, but besides those two the rest of the Chief’s offense is a question mark. That being said the Chiefs can now focus their #1 pick on the best player overall in their mind instead of being swayed by their quarterback need. Reid got the best option out their but that is not saying much. If he can boost Smith’s supporting cast and put him in the right scheme, this trade could be a homerun, but there is a possibility that this trade blows up in their face like Matt Cassel did.