After a resurgence that began in 2011, the San Francisco 49ers are now representing the NFC in Super Bowl XLVII. At the beginning of the season, many though that if the 49ers wound up in this game, it'd be Alex Smith calling the shots behind center.
Instead, a quarterback drama unfolded in the Bay Area this year, and it resulted in second-year player Colin Kaepernick taking the reigns of this team.
Now, everyone has accepted the transition into the Kaepernick era and after 8 years, it seems that Smith's journey with the team has come to an end. Most are expecting Smith's departure to come at the end of the season, but will he be cut or traded?
According to Greg Rosenthal of NFL.com, a source close to the situation has leaked that Alex Smith would ask for his outright release. Given the way things unfolded for Smith this year, it would be a nice gesture by Jim Harbaugh and the organization if they allowed Smith to test the market as an unrestricted free agent.
However, the 49ers believe they have two starting quarterbacks on the roster. In all likelihood, they would prefer to get something in return for dealing Smith. Especially with all of the quarterback-needy teams and the lack of prospects in the draft, the 49ers could dictate the marketplace.
It will be interesting to see how the 49ers respond to Smith's request.