The San Francisco 49ers are no strangers to quarterback controversy and they have one on their hands. Former franchise quarterback of the future Alex Smith was replaced by Colin Kaepernick in mid season and the 49ers never looked back. And while Alex Smith had led the 49ers to the NFC Championship game in the prior season, his replacement Kaepernick took them one step further this year.
So what do you do with Alex Smith?
Luck couldn’t be more on the 49ers side. This year’s draft class of quarterbacks is weak at best and no one is a sure lock to succeed like Andrew Luck or Robert Griffin III of last season. Teams desperate for a quality quarterback are most likely calling and asking what the 49ers are looking for in return for the quarterback.
So that’s one option, trading Alex Smith. Do they keep him as a reliable and dependable back up? Do they release him to avoid any problems that might arise from having two quarterbacks that could be starting on the same roster?
“Are we going to trade him for sure? No, that hasn’t been decided,” 49ers general manager Trent Baalke said.
They certainly have a valuable asset that could get them quality players or picks in return. The other option, and the 49ers party line, is that they’d like to keep him. Colin Kaepernick’s salary is less than $1 million next season and paying $8.5 million for a back up isn’t that bad then.
Most teams in the NFL pay more than the 49ers are paying their quarterbacks for 1 starter. Tony Romo is set to count against the cap ($16.8 million) almost twice of what Alex Smith makes.
Talking to reporters in Indianapolis Baalke said he had dinner with Alex Smith and his wife after Super Bowl XLVII to discuss his future.
“It was excellent. It was Alex and his wife, Liz, and myself, and we had a great meal. We had a great discussion. I can’t say enough good things. …. If you ask anyone in our organization, they’re going to say the same thing: He is a pro’s pro. And have nothing but great respect for him, his family, and we’re certainly going to everything in our power to make the best decision for everyone involved.”