Where Should Alex Smith Play Next Season?
One concussion and one extremely impressive start later, the nightmare, doomsday scenario has emerged for San Francisco 49ers Quarterback Alex Smith.
Replaced in the starting lineup by Colin Kaepernick after San Francisco’s dominant 32-7 win over the vaunted, turnover inducing Chicago Bears defense, Smith now faces the real possibility that he’ll have to find a new team for the 2013 season.
After Kaepernick showed his athleticism and an ability to unleash the big play potential of top receiving targets Vernon Davis, Michael Crabtree and Mario Manningham, Smith should realize that his tenure with the Niners is coming to an end. Smith is due a $1 million roster bonus in March, according to Rotoworld, and it’s the only portion of his $7.5 million guaranteed in 2013. It’s safe to say that Smith won’t be paid that much cash to be a backup, so he’ll have to find another team unless he re-works his contract and is content to be an understudy for the foreseeable future.
It’s time for Smith to search for other opportunities elsewhere, so let’s help him out with a few intriguing fits for next season:
New York Jets- Quarterback Mark Sanchez’s entire 2013 base salary of $8.25 million is guaranteed, one of the many reasons why general manager Mike Tannenbaum probably won’t be back next season, and new management could do worse than get a proven winner like Smith who won’t make the mistakes Sanchez did the last two seasons. Smith would take over the starting job and replace Tim Tebow on the active roster, which seems like a nice fit.
Kansas City Chiefs/Jacksonville Jaguars- Many mock drafts, including one over at CBS, has West Virginia QB Geno Smith going with the first overall pick. It’s a good bet that he’ll go to one of these two teams. The team that gets the second overall pick could do a lot worse than signing Smith to a short-term, low risk contract.
Kansas City has capable offensive players at the skill positions like wide receiver Dwayne Bowe, who has maintained he wants a new contract with the team, and running back Jamaal Charles, and Smith would be able to flourish with some strong offensive line play. Jacksonville is clearly dissatisfied with Blaine Gabbert and probably want a better option than Chad Henne, despite the team’s insistence that Henne will get a fair shot to usurp Gabbert as the full-time starter, the Jags could do better. Maurice Jones-Drew and Marcedes Lewis aren’t too different than Davis and Frank Gore, and rookie wide receiver Justin Blackmon has shown a good deal of potential over the past few weeks.
St. Louis Rams-There’s no way around it. Sam Bradford is a below average NFL quarterback. He’s 22nd in yards per attempt, 19th in yards, 17th in touchdown passes and 21st in QB rating. St. Louis has good talent on both sides of the ball, but could sure use an above average QB to put them in playoff contention. Take Smith from a division rival next season and the motivation to take revenge on his former team twice a year and it seems like a nice fit.