On the day of Super Bowl XLVII, the San Francisco 49ers prepare to tie the Pittsburgh Steelers for most Super Bowl wins. However, ESPN reported on Feb. 3 that the 49ers continue to answer Alex Smith trade rumors as well.
A source told ESPN that the 49ers will indeed try to trade Alex Smith during the offseason, and will probably find a suitor since demand for quality quarterbacks is low right now. This news comes on the same day that Tim Tebow trade rumors indicated that the New York Jets would have trouble moving their backup quarterback.
The difference is that Alex Smith is not only a proven winner, but also a quality passing quarterback as well.
Cleveland Browns' new offensive coordinator Norv Turner worked with Smith in San Francisco and Kansas City Chiefs' new head coach Andy Reid also expressed interest in Smith in the past. Both teams could use a quarterback upgrade. If San Francisco trades him instead of cutting him, they will save between $1 million and $2 million in roster bonuses owed him.
In 2011, both Tim Tebow and Alex Smith led their teams to the playoffs. Smith did it by throwing for 3,144 yards and 17 touchdowns with only five interceptions. On the other hand, Tebow threw for 1,729 yards with 12 touchdowns and six interceptions. Tebow also ran for six touchdowns on the season.
If a team chooses to sign Tebow, they will have to change their offense to an option styled attack, where if they sign Smith, they can continue with a balanced attack. Over the past two seasons, Smith threw for 4,881 yards over 25 starts with 30 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. His record over that period was 20-5-1.
Alex Smith's quarterback rating in 2012 was 104.1 with a 6-1-1 record before his concussion. The 49ers chose to strip him of his starting job when he returned.