At first it seemed to make more sense to just sit tight and wait and see if Jason La Canfora was right about the San Francisco 49ers telling other teams they had a deal in place to trade Alex Smith. We don’t even know the team the 49ers are supposedly working with, and now thanks to Matt Barrows we don’t even know if La Canfora’s report was correct.
The 49ers are talking to teams about a trade for Alex Smith but currently do not have a deal in place, league sources said Sunday and Monday.
Well then. You know what? This may be journalistically irresponsible … but for the purposes of this post (and your chances of winning the prize listed near the end), let’s assume the 49ers have a deal in place with the Kansas City Chiefs. After all, the Browns and Jaguars both claim they aren’t the mystery team in question, the 49ers don’t want to deal with the Arizona Cardinals if they can help it, and the New York Jets seem pretty stubborn about this whole Mark Sanchez thing. That last part is completely insane, by the way. It’s almost as if the Jets don’t watch Jets games.
Anyway, enough about the Jets since this isn’t an ESPN-affiliated website. Let’s talk about what kind of deal the 49ers could work out with the Chiefs. Then you’ll pick which one seems most likely in the comments, and one of you will win a free Large Pizza from Amici’s East Coast Pizzeria. Sound good? Okay, let’s get to it.
Hypothetical Trade No. 1: Alex Smith to the Chiefs for a mid-round draft pick in 2013
Why this makes sense: Everyone knows the 49ers want to unload Smith, which means getting a draft choice in the first two rounds might be unlikely.
Why this doesn’t make sense: The 49ers already have 11 picks in the 2013 draft and will probably get a few compensatory selections. Since they’re likely to have six picks in rounds three through five, do they really want another pick in that vicinity?
Hypothetical Trade No. 2: Alex Smith for the Chiefs’ second-rounder (No. 34 overall)
Why this makes sense: Making this deal would give San Francisco the 31st and 34th picks. That could allow them to move up further in the first round if they choose to package those two slots. Kansas City adds a starting QB without sacrificing much in terms of depth. Former Chiefs GM Scott Pioli said on NFL Network that it was possible the 49ers could get a second or third round pick for Smith.
Why this doesn’t make sense: The 34th overall pick is pretty highly coveted — with the 49ers in a situation where they pretty much have to trade Smith, does it make sense to give up that selection even if the 49ers throw in a third rounder?
Hypothetical Trade No. 3: Alex Smith to the Chiefs for a conditional pick in 2014
Why this makes sense: With so many picks in 2013, why not plan ahead?
Why this doesn’t make sense: This would in effect mean the 49ers are betting on Smith. If he has a good season in Kansas City, the 49ers benefit. But how confident are they that he’ll play well in a new system with inferior talent surrounding him? Andy Reid isn’t God.
Why this makes sense: I threw out this idea on Twitter for fun yesterday afternoon before subjecting myself to an Academy Awards broadcast that was strange even for the Academy Awards, and more people seemed to like the idea than I would have thought. Pro Football Weekly took down this story, so add another grain of salt, but Arrowhead Pride still has this quote up:
Naturally, Chiefs coaches and players are frustrated, too. A source told PFW that CB Brandon Flowers, who signed a six-year, $49.3 million deal last September, has been telling teammates in the locker room that he would give back all his new money just so he could leave the team.
The 49ers are reportedly chatting up the agents for every available No. 1 cornerback, and Flowers (while not a free agent, obviously) certainly qualifies as a No. 1 cover guy. He was the No. 7 CB in 2012 according to Pro Football Focus, and was ranked fifth best in 2011. Flowers isn’t cheap, but the 49ers would be getting rid of Smith’s salary in the process and could then release Carlos Rogers.
Why this doesn’t make sense: Reid probably doesn’t mind that a player may or may not have been frustrated under the previous regime, and isn’t going to be all that happy losing his best CB regardless of some quotes from an anonymous source. Their next best CB is Javier Arenas. He’s merely okay, and there isn’t much behind him. Also, player-for-player deals are rare. Of the 25 trades occurring in 2012 that included a player (not just picks for picks), only four had players moving on both sides.
So what do you think? Pick a hypothetical option in the comments and I’ll pick one of you to win a Large Pizza from Amici’s East Coast Pizzeria, as promised about 400 words ago. You can go with options No. 1-4, or you can write in your own. But for the purposes of this post, keep the speculation focused on a trade with the Chiefs. Elvis Grbac, named Sexiest Athlete by People Magazine in 1998, demands it:
Hopefully People at least let Grbac keep the helmet.