Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports
The Cleveland Browns hired former Chargers head coach Norv Turner as their offensive coordinator. We take a look at what this might mean for 49ers QB Alex Smith.
One of the stories we haven't talked much about in recent weeks, and for good reason, is the future of 49ers QB Alex Smith. At this point it seems highly unlikely he will return for the 2013 season, although I suppose anything is possible. In reality, he will likely be traded or released between the end of the season and April 1.
The question at this point is where he'll end up, and some of the potential landing spots are opening up. The Cleveland Browns announced they have hired Norv Turner to be their offensive coordinator. While merely speculation, there is often talk about Alex Smith potentially reuniting with his former offensive coordinator. Prior to the arrival of Jim Harbaugh & Co., you could make the argument that Alex Smith's best year was in 2006 with Norv Turner. He benefited from a strong running game, but his improvement from rookie year to second year was pretty impressive.
Smith's career trajectory took a huge hit when Norv Turner left to become head coach of the San Diego Chargers. Part of that was the late notice of it and subsequent hire of Jim Hostler. However, losing a QB guru like Turner did not help matters.
The only evidence to support a potential reunion is that one good year, so it is not a lot more than that at the moment. And obviously Alex will not be saying anything about his future until after the season ends.
It is also worth noting that the Jets might be interested as well. That is not shocking given the poo poo platter of QBs they have in place, but a Jets beat writer did at least get some info from league sources indicating New York be interested.
For now though, it is a non-story. Once the offseason ends, that will not quite be the case. The Chiefs and Cardinals both seem like possible destinations as well, but it's a tough prediction. We have no idea what other teams will offer up in trades, and we have no idea how the 49ers value Smith in a trade. Add in the idea that they might want to try and "do right by Alex Smith" given how all this went down, and it's a very unpredictable situation.