Now that my last Alex Smith rumor post is filling up, I wanted to use a follow-up post to clear up a few things that were fuzzy when I wrote the post. Smileyman will be around tomorrow morning with a more thorough breakdown of where things stand in regards to the CBA. However, I wanted to make a few comments about those issues as they relate to the Alex Smith rumor I posted this afternoon.
The two sides agreed to extend the deadline on the CBA to ensure some more discussions. The two sides are each meeting with the mediator tomorrow as opposed to face-to-face negotiations, although face-to-face discussions could develop during the day. However, one key aspect of this extension is that apparently the league year will still end tonight as it affects player transactions. NFL PR man Greg Aiello confirmed to ESPN via text that after 8:59pm pacific time tonight, teams will no longer be able to cut, re-sign or make any player moves until there's a new CBA. They are allowed to negotiate with players and agents, but signings are not allowed.
Accordingly, if Alex Smith does not re-sign with the 49ers tonight, it can't happen until a new CBA is done. Previously I was under the impression that an extension meant transactions could continue but that's obviously not the case. At this point I'm trying to confirm how the extension of negotiations would impact any potential signing. If I were to interpret this, it would seem like the team is sufficiently concerned about the state of available quarterbacks via eventual free agency trade, and the draft, that they feel the need to get a "known" warm body under contract.
Folks have referenced this numerous times in the comments (notably Carr-related comments) so it makes at least some sense from the 49ers side of things. However, the way I've always viewed it (or at least after this season) is that the 49ers need Alex Smith a lot more than Alex Smith needs the 49ers. The QB market is filled with question marks. Even though Alex Smith may never be the long term answer for the 49ers, there just isn't a ton else out there right now. I'd obviously like to be proven right on this rumor, but I wouldn't be shocked if things changed and I was proven wrong.