USA TODAY Sports
With personnel executives from all 32 NFL teams in the same building this weekend, could trade talks surrounding Alex Smith heat up?
As most NFL fans are aware, the scouting combine is set to kickoff this weekend. Held annually from Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, it will begin on Saturday, February 23rd and close the following week on Tuesday, February 26th. This is the premier event between the NCAA season and the draft, which decides the future of thousands of NFL hopefuls.
This is the official combine schedule, per NFL.com:
Combine workout schedule:
>> Saturday, Feb. 23: Tight ends, offensive linemen, special teams
>> Sunday, Feb. 24: Quarterbacks, running backs, wide receivers
>> Monday, Feb. 25: Defensive linemen, linebackers
>> Tuesday, Feb. 26: Defensive backs
It is considered one of the most scrutinized and publicized job fairs in America. But even more than that, it is a four-day event that is simply alive with opportunities -- and not just for prospects.
For head coaches and general managers, they have a perfect forum to discuss business with other personnel executives. This event demands the attendance of key decision-makers of 32 NFL franchises; all of whom are looking for a chance to get ahead.
And the best way to get ahead is to find a quarterback. Organizations that don't have one are desperate to find one, which is why there are reaches in the draft each year and money lost in free agency. Two men wearing "SF" on their chest will be targeted by these quarterback-needy teams, and that is Jim Harbaugh and Trent Baalke.
They are sitting comfortably with two starter-capable QBs, and in the market to move one.
This is a business trip for Harbaugh and Baalke; perhaps their most important of the year. There is no way they fly to Indianapolis and back without a word about Alex Smith.
For the sake of forward progress in this league, there will be discussions about the 49ers quarterback. One team that could be linked to the Niners this weekend is the Kansas City Chiefs. Their general manager, John Dorsey, said there is no "clear-cut" No. 1 quarterback in this year's draft.
That relays two main notions: (1) They are looking for a quarterback and (2) They will be looking for the BPA at No. 1 overall, not a quarterback.
San Francisco would love to get out of this weekend with a suitor in place to take Smith off their hands. If they can chat it up with the Chiefs, or anyone else at the combine, it would be a very proactive way to go about this salary cap situation they are facing.
One thing is for sure; photographers will be all over a two-shot of Jim Harbaugh and Andy Reid sitting in the bleachers together.