In the last six quarters he played (that pass he threw in Week 17 doesn’t count), Alex Smith completed 25-of-27 passes for 304 yards and four touchdowns. However, the concussion that knocked Smith out of the Rams game knocked Smith out of the game and ended his days as the 49ers’ starter, just as everything seemed to be coming together.
“That’s what kind of makes it even more disappointing, in a sense, because I feel like I was playing my best ball,” said Smith, who was quick to point out that by no means has his ceiling been reached.
“I still feel like I have my best football ahead of me. In that sense, I still feel like I’ve gotten better and better. I’m still capable of playing at a high level. I’m excited for my next opportunity, wherever that comes. For me, it’s just being ready to go if that comes on Sunday.”
Most people believe Smith’s “next opportunity” come somewhere else. Where? That depends on whether Smith gets to select his destination or if the 49ers trade him — preferably to a team that doesn’t call Phoenix home.
So, Alex … is it true what ProFootballTalk reported? Will you ask the 49ers to grant your release?
“No idea where that came from. No idea, no clue. Don’t know,” Smith said.
At the time I took this as a firm denial. However, after some time away from the Media Day craziness I’ve come to the conclusion that this wasn’t really a denial of anything other than knowing how Mike Florio came across that information. It makes sense that Smith would request his release — why would he want the 49ers to decide where he goes and benefit from trading him?
(Video of his answer below – 11 seconds long)
Back when the switch was made to Colin Kaepernick, Smith’s friend Joe Staley made it clear how he felt on the matter. I asked Smith what it meant when to have the 49ers’ left tackle in his corner.
“The relationship you build there with your teammates is something really special, really unique. Flattering when your teammates come to your defense or pay you a compliment,” said Smith.
(Video – 0:28)