Suitors of San Francisco quarterback Alex Smith could be waiting for the 49ers to cut him, perhaps prompting Sunday night’s report by Jason La Canfora that a deal was “essentially done.”
Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee and ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that the 49ers were still shopping Smith. They will owe him $8.5 million if they don’t trade or release him by April 1.
La Canfora stood by his report Monday afternoon during an interview with 92.3 The Fan in Cleveland, a CBS affiliate. He added that he believes the trade partner to be the Kansas City Chiefs. Multiple reports have linked the Chiefs to Smith.
Tthe Browns have also been suggested as a logical landing spot. The Browns are looking for competition for quarterback Brandon Weeden, the 22nd overall pick in the 2012 draft. Schefter also mentioned the Arizona Cardinals as a team “thought to be” interested, while La Canfora suggested the Jacksonville Jaguars as a possibility.
It has been suggested that La Canfora’s report could be an attempt by the 49ers’ to spark more interest in Smith. La Canfora did not name the trade partner and said the deal could not be finalized until the start of the league year on March 12 at 4 p.m. In response to La Canfora's report, the Plain Dealer reported that the Browns were not the team that had virtually completed a deal.
Smith lost his starting job to Colin Kapernick after suffering a concussion on Nov. 11. On Friday at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis, 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh said it was “unlikely” they would release Smith, suggesting their best options were keeping him or trading him. Smith has been praised by Harbaugh and 49ers General Manager Trent Baalke for continuing to mentor Kapernik.