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Alex Smith traded to Chiefs; will join Andy Reid in Kansas City
Question of the Day
Yet everyone knew it was likely the 49ers would do their best to improve Smith’s situation considering all he did for the franchise for nearly the past decade.
“Alex is really playing the best football of his career the last two years,” Harbaugh said. “We think we got the best quarterback situation in the National Football League, feel strongly about that. Again, that’ll be a process that plays out. Alex Smith continuing to be a 49er or if a trade occurs in the next weeks or months. Those are the two possibilities, most likely possibilities.”
Smith acknowledged when he lost the job to Kaepernick back in November that he had done nothing wrong but get hurt. Not only had he completed 26 of his previous 28 passes — 18 of 19 for 232 yards and three touchdowns without an interception and a 157.1 passer rating in a Monday Night Football win at Arizona on Oct. 29 — Smith had just earned NFC Offensive Player of the Week honors after that victory in the desert.
He then sustained a concussion in the second quarter of a 24-24 tie against St. Louis on Nov. 11 — acknowledging later he threw a touchdown pass with blurry vision. Smith sat out the next game as Kaepernick dazzled in his debut as an NFL starter, beating the Bears handily at home on Monday Night Football.
Smith’s most poignant response to the situation was, “I feel like the only thing I did to lose my job was get a concussion.”
As strong-armed second-year pro, Kaepernick led the 49ers to the NFC championship and a 34-31 loss to Baltimore in the Super Bowl in which the 49ers missed several chances in the waning moments. The 49ers are now looking for a backup for him.
The 28-year-old Smith struggled for most of his career in San Francisco, plagued as much by coaching and constant coordinator changes as by his own indecisiveness. But when Harbaugh became coach in January 2011, Smith blossomed under the former QB’s guidance. He was among the league leaders in passer rating (104.1) with a 70.2 completion percentage when he got hurt last season.
Fox Sports first reported the deal Wednesday.
By Andrew P. Napolitano
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