Posted January 28, 2013

Alex Smith to seek release from 49ers before free agency, according to report

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Alex Smith will ask for his release from the 49ers before free agency. (Bob Levey/Getty Images)

Alex Smith will ask for his release from the 49ers before free agency. (Bob Levey/Getty Images)

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Alex Smith will ask for his release from the team before the start of free agency, Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio reported Monday.

The 49ers have been expected to try to trade Smith, who was supplanted by Colin Kaepernick as the team’s starting quarterback midway through the season. The 49ers are gearing up to play the Baltimore Ravens in Super Bowl XLVII next Sunday.

Florio explained why Smith is taking a “calculated risk” in demanding his release:

On one hand, he’s be able to join any team he wants.  On the other hand, he’d be losing the $8.5 million that he’d earn this year if his contract is traded.

Of course, that contract could make it harder to trade him.  And the 49ers will have plenty of time to explore their options for trading Smith before the new league year (and the free-agency period) begins.

Smith was in the midst of the best season of his career before suffering a concussion on Nov. 11 — he had a 104.1 passer rating and had guided the 49ers to a 6-2 record. Kaepernick dazzled the next week against Chicago, and head coach Jim Harbaugh made the decision to stick with Kaepernick thereafter.


38 comments
JRM4
JRM4

Harbaugh is a lousy excuse for a head coach - and this decision proves it.  Alex was in the process of leading the 49ers to their 2nd straight playoff appearance when he was removed as the starting quarterback.  I was a life-long fan of the 49ers.  But no more!  I won't support the 49ers again until Harbaugh is removed as head coach.

BPFastballs
BPFastballs

There will be takers for Smith. There are far more teams in need of a QB than there prospects in the draft. Smith simply cannot make many of the throws that elite qb's can make (and have the stones to attempt). The velocity just isnt there on any pass over 15 yards. Nevermind the accuracy. Smith has shown he cannot consistently get the ball into tight windows -no matter who the coordinator was. People love to talk about his 18 for 19 performance, but go back and watch the film, he missed Vernon Davis and Randy Moss wide open down field twice and instead threw the ball to Crabtree and Manningham; he also took a couple sacks (4 total) where he lost yardage and would have been better served to throw the ball away. That 18 of 19 is a joke.

VicWilliams
VicWilliams

Look for Alex in a Chiefs uni next year. He's a solid QB who excelled early this year on shorter routes and a deliberate, plodding game, which served the Niners well for the most part. But Kap takes them to a new level. He's the future and Harbaugh decided not to wait. Clearly it's paid off well despite the blowout in Seattle, which resulted from loud fans taking the Kap out of his read option rhythm and put too much pressure on the D. Won't be a problem at SB as most fans in attendance are corporate suits who couldn't care less about what's happening on the field. I've been to a dome SB and that's exactly the case.

CindiPaszek
CindiPaszek

A small (very small) part of me feels for Alex.  But I have to say, I'm with CK7 from here on out.  And, Kaep only made $600,000 + or - this year.  His athleticism is unmatched.  Let's see what happens this weekend in the "Har Bowl!"  Go Niners!!!!

eddie577
eddie577

How come he didn't ask for a release his first 3 years when his passer rating averaged 57, had twice as many interceptions as touchdowns and couldn't win a big game? Now that the Niners have paid him over $60 Million does he now want a release. He gets benched and now he feels unwanted. Want a baby. Grow up and support the team that carried you for the first 6 years of your lousy career.

Greg15
Greg15

I think Alex got "Jimmied". He was playing better than he ever had, got injured, got replaced...for good. I just feel for the guy. Maybe you can become the Rams new QB. Think about it.

Jesse6
Jesse6

Does Jo'Lon Dunbar get a standing ovation at the 'Stick when the Rams visit next season?

gravity_fails
gravity_fails

Yes, the Niners owe him a release if that's what he wants. He has given his all to them and has shown them extreme loyalty for years. But I'm guessing they don't have the class to turn down a draft pick for him. 

Rickapolis
Rickapolis

I'm sure the Niners will treat him fairly. I mean, just look at their record so far.

JackWilliams
JackWilliams

I don't understand why anyone would write a serious story based upon info gleaned from ProFootballtalk.com. That site is just a rumormonger based upon unnamed sources. Anytime an actual fact is written there, it is a link from another site. Just because PFT is associated with NBC does not make it a reliable source of information.

craig.w.bryant
craig.w.bryant

What if, and I'm just spitballing here, Kaepernick turns out to be a 1-hit wonder? He hasn't even played a full-season yet and folks are already looking to clear a spot for him in Canton, lets all just slow down a bit and see how he handles a few seasons at the helm. Smith will get a chance somewhere, right now Jacksonville, NY Jets, Philadelphia, Buffalo, Arizona, and Kansas City are all definitely in the market for a QB and several other teams might be looking, such as St. Louis (safe to say Bradford's another #1 overall who hasn't panned out).

YuckDaFankees
YuckDaFankees

Arizona is into over paying for overrated QBs.  With Graves gone though they might actually be looking at fixing their O line first though.

Mark A
Mark A

He can ask for his release, but I don't know why the niners would give away something they can sell.

 

Talk of Alex going where he wants is swell, but there are at most 2-4 places that would give him any shot at a long term starter role.  So if that's what he wants, trade or free agency are all the same.

 

My stupid prediction: Alex is a Jet, along with the 32nd overall pick. And Darrelle Revis is a niner

joeshine730
joeshine730

Harbaugh must of made the right decision with Smith. Super Bowl is success. Smith must be weak mentally and not much of a leader.

hq817
hq817

Alex Smith should just be happy to have a job because MOST No. 1 overall picks would have been unemployed by now. He has been a total bust regardless of what the media says. In his 8 year career he has been benched for Troy Smith, Shaun Hill,  J.T. O'Sullivan, Trent Dilfer, Chris Weinke, Tim Rattay, Ken Dorsey, Cody Pickett, and now Colin Kaepernick so how can he have demands for the 49ers when they have given him all the chances.

Pierre1
Pierre1

He'll probably end up in Kansas City or Jacksonville. And whichever team picks him up will also draft a QB to develop. And in a year or two, Smith will be in the same position he is right now. He'll be the new Steve Deberg.

craig.w.bryant
craig.w.bryant

@CindiPaszek would you ever write TB12 or PM18? One QB with a nickname that is inspired by his REAL FRIEKING NAME doesn't mean fans need to re-brand every QB in the same manner!

craig.w.bryant
craig.w.bryant

@CindiPaszek I'm going to goon record saying I'm tired of every QB getting this initials/number combo. RG3 is RG3 because of his name, Robert Griffin III. Now Seattle fans are calling their QB RW3 because Russell Wilson wears #3 and apparently SF fans are trying to adopt this ridiculous CK7

Pdubble4life
Pdubble4life

 @eddie577 The team stunk.  They obviously thought he gave them the best chance to win.  In the NFL his contract is not guaranteed.  He owes that team nothing.  They cut numerous people who got no money after they left during his tenure there, and I doubt you were stepping up for them with all they had given to the team to that point.  He's been the consummate team player up to this point.  When they release him, they'll stop paying him.  It seems like a better deal for them too.  I mean, if he's not playing then there's no point in paying him right?

BPFastballs
BPFastballs

 @Mark A This makes the most sense for the Niners. Smith was nothing before Harbaugh. If Harbaugh thinks he isn't good enough, then believe it. 

IdDoHannahStorm
IdDoHannahStorm

 @Mark A He may want to go to Arizona but SF would be hesitant to trade him within the division?

Jesse6
Jesse6

 @hq817 Let's phrase it this way.  In 8 seasons with the 49ers Alex Smith made it to the playoffs once and won one playoff game against one of the worst defenses in NFL history.   Kaepernick has started 9 games for the 49ers and has already won two playoff games.  Regardless of how many times and for whom the guy has been benched for, being benched at all is not what you are looking for in your first overall draft pick.

Dane_G
Dane_G

 @hq817 Nice try, but no.  Smith was not benched for Dorsey, Weinke, Dilfer, Pickett or  Rattay.  Those first 4 only stepped in for various games during Smith injuries, and Rattay was the starter & mentor in Smith's rookie year...i.e., Smith was never "benched for" him.  On T. Smith- S Hill: yes, but that was the Singletary debacle, a/k/a one of the worst personnel mismanagement & HC performances in modern NFL history.  Anyone who follows the game knows that.

And you discredited your own assertion by stating most overall #1 picks would have been unemployed.  There is a clear reason he is still around...I suggest you look up his passer rating.

Dane_G
Dane_G

 @Pierre1 Funny.  DeBerg never had half of Smith's skills, accuracy or overall leadership.  

Spin it and whine about Smith all you want, but he is a franchise QB.  Performance and numbers do not lie.

JayHaskins
JayHaskins

 @Pierre1

 He already is the new Steve DeBerg. Has been since they drafted kaepernick

Mark A
Mark A

 @IdDoHannahStorm  @Mark A They'd rather trade him in the division than release him, I'd imagine.

 

And if I'm Alex and I have a choice, I don't pick Arizona.  St Louis, Seattle, and San francisco are all young, scary D's and the Arizona o-line is a mess.  

Dane_G
Dane_G

 @Jesse6  @hq817 Careful Jesse...your football ignorance is showing. Put Kaepernick on any 2005-2010 Niners' team.  No way would he have ever gotten to the playoffs.

M as in Mancy
M as in Mancy

 @Dane_G  @Pierre1

 Dane, you're killing your own argument. Smith's first 6 years in the league count into an evaluation. Because at the end of the day, he's probably going to a bad team. If he couldn't perform on bad SF teams from 2005-2010, what makes anyone think that he'll perform on a new bad team without a GREAT defense, run game, and Harbaugh coaching?

M as in Mancy
M as in Mancy

I don't think anyone would say he was horrible, but he was mediocre. The numbers and film from 05-10 bear this out. Smith had 1 season of over a 60% completion rate, a high QB rating of 82, and at best averaged 215 ypg. A FRANCHISE QB TAKES HIS TEAM TO THE PLAYOFFS. A franchise guy is the rock that stops the bleeding and puts a team on his shoulders. Brees and Manning went to laughingstocks and turned them into perennial contenders.

 

And the 09-10 49ers have the same team core: Gore, J-Smith, Willis, V Davis, Crabtree, several O-Linemen, that have performed brilliantly the past 2 years. Smitty has improved a lot and will probably be the top FA, but he was not even close to a franchise guy until Harbaugh ressurected his career.

 

 

 

Dane_G
Dane_G

@M as in Mancy @Dane_G @Pierre1 You seem to think he was horrible for 6 years....he wasn't, he constantly showed flashes of brilliance, and was very promising when able to play for an entire season. No QB could have taken those teams to the playoffs...most GMs get that. He will have contender options if he is released..possibly Philly, AZ to name a couple...maybe even St Louis

M as in Mancy
M as in Mancy

 @Dane_G  @M as in Mancy  @Pierre1

 Here's the rub. Team success is a big deal and certainly is an intangible that makes winners. But I'm a fan who follows teams not players. But a team's primary evaluation process for an individual (they're paying an individual contract after all) is going to be stats and film, especially in a position like QB which is easily quantifiable.

 

Ultimately, he'll get paid somewhere else. The question is whether the team will consider how much he struggled without the benefit of his current team and coach. All these teams that get thrown around will probably be awful and emulate the first 6 years where he struggled. You're kidding yourself if you don't think a GM is going to overlook that and let his contract get crazy.

Dane_G
Dane_G

 @M as in Mancy  @Dane_G  @Pierre1 Who ever said his first 6 years don't count?  Of course they do...you seem to be confusing the concept of the individual with that of the team.  And of course his numbers would be better on a better team.  On that note, if he's smart he'll find a contender to join if he's released (i.e., the subject of this article), just as any in-demand free agent QB would do.