So here's what we know: Alex Smith has been traded. We know Alex Smith led the Niners to the NFC championship game in the 2011-2012 season and has the #3 passer rating in the 2012-2013 season before he got injured and replaced by Kaep. We also know that mystery team cannot be identified until March 12th when the 2013-2014 season officially starts. What the does all that mean? Alex Smith is a playoff winning QB who has proven to be a winning QB under the right system and this trade should demand a high pick due to his recent success and knowledge of diverse systems.
What we don't know is where Alex Smith will be headed. So this post is to identify who the mystery team is by breaking down possible teams basing a hypothesis on need and system and give my opinion of how we can benefit by such a team. So I'll start by identifying two teams that don't need to be included in this discussion: Cardinals and Jaguars.
Cardinals: Easy, same division. Niners brass will not hand over their "offensive playbook" to NFC west rival.
Jaguars: Jags have stated that they are willing to give Gabbert another season under center and are comfortable with Henne as the back-up who did a nice job when Gabbert went down.
Ok, so here we go. The teams who have been identified as possible landing spots for Alex Smith are the following:
New York Jets: So I'll start with a small reach but a team who needs a consistent QB, I mean they are willing give Jamarcus Russell a try.... Sanchez' performances these last few years might get Ryan fired if he doesn't make drastic changes, he tried last year and that was a complete fail... TEBOW, they need help at the position. How would we benefit? They have the #7 pick in the second round and looking to trade Revis.
Cleveland Browns: So we have heard reports that the Browns are not interested in Alex Smith and who can blame them, they just drafted Weeden and McCoy continues to wait for a fair shot as a starter, I guess his draft day waiting game was a prelude to what his career was going to be like. But some of the factors that make this a perfect match is: 1) Norv Turner, Alex familiarity with Turner's offense puts him ahead of Weeden and McCoy and 2) A strong running game, not asking too much of Smith, placing the "game Manager" label back on. How would we benefit? #6 pick but would rather take 2014 1st round pick + Josh Cribbs
Kansas City Chiefs: Last but not least the Chiefs. Reports are pointing to the Chiefs as THE team and have mentioned that Coach Reid has always liked Smith. Reid runs a west coast offense type so Smith would continue in a similar system that would benefit his development and will be surrounded by key pieces, great RB and a good defense, making the Chiefs a contender in a weak division. Also, the color Red/Scarlett looks good on Smith from Utah to Niners, KC only makes sense. How do we benefit? Doubt they trade #1 pick but their second round pick and maybe 2014 2nd or 3rd round pick would be ideal.
Whoever ends up picking up Smith I bid him farewell, good luck and a thank you for trying under harsh circumstances (injuries, bad coaching, carousel offenses and timing). I'll rock a Smith Jersey when they go on sale to play in my yearly Turkeybowl.