When I first heard Alex Smith was on the trading black, I thought every team in the NFL would call the 49ers bluff and simply wait until he was released. After all, if San Francisco kept Alex on the roster after April 1, they owed him over $7 million….
And if they released him before April 1, they owed Smith $1 million….
So why not wait until the inevitable release, force the 49ers ownership to fork over $1 million and then sign him as a free agent?….
For this reason: Waiting until he’s released puts you up against every team in the NFL; thus raising his value….
Granted, most of the teams wouldn’t make an offer, but three or four will; so why bid against them when you don’t have to?….
Of the teams rumored to be in the mix (Jets, Jaguars, Cardinals, Chiefs), you could eliminate Arizona right away; because unless they made a ridiculous offer there was no way San Francisco would trade Alex to another team in the division; then having to face him twice a year….
The Jets would seem to be a good fit, except for one thing; Mark Sanchez is owed $11M next season and they are not going to pay that to a back-up QB….
As for Jacksonville, they’ve made a big investment in Blaine Gabbert and didn’t seem like a likely bidder….
That left the Chiefs, with new coach Andy Reid, as the most likely trade partner….
Sure enough, the Chiefs stepped up and offered a second round pick for Smith, which was quickly accepted. So now the 49ers problems seem to be solved; there won’t be any controversy in camp, they don’t have to pay Alex $7 million to be a back-up and they received the 34th pick in the draft, far better than they thought they’d get….
So now the question is this; Which team got the better of the deal?….
In my opinion, the 49ers made a steal, because I’m still not sold on Smith. Sure, he was the most improved player in the NFL in 2011 and was playing well again this season, but I think he’s a product of Jim Harbaugh’s developmental skill….
Once he gets away from the Harbaugh comfort zone and with a bad Chiefs team, I believe he’ll return to the pre-Harbaugh Alex Smith….
Now that the 49ers have an excellent pick to deal, it’s time to address the secondary, a glaring weakness which surfaced in the post-season….
And the guy to step in and fix the problem is the best cover corner in the NFL, the Jets’ Darrelle Reavis….
Reavis is going into the final year of his deal and the word in New York is the Jets want to move him. They also seem to be afraid of his off-season ACL surgery….
Darrelle reportedly wants a $16 million a year contract, which is ridiculous. No team in the NFL is going to pay him that, so he’s going to have to come down in his price. And with draft picks at a premium, the 49ers should use that 2nd round pick from the Chiefs in a package to trade for Reavis….
I know the knee injury is a concern, but as Adrian Peterson showed last year, ACL’s aren’t what they used to be. Peterson injured his knee in the final game of the 2011 season, but shocked everyone by being ready for Week One and returning better than ever….
In fact, he was so good he almost broke Eric Dickerson’s single season rushing record….
Question: Does Reavis have the drive, the mental toughness and work ethic to make a Peterson-like recovery? Darrelle reportedly had an attitude problem in New York and some in the NFL say he plays only as hard as he needs to….
He’s definitely not Adrian Peterson when it comes to work ethic, but his injury occurred earlier in the season than Peterson’s and he should be 100% by next year….
And if you can get the best cover corner in the NFL, and one of the best ever, for draft picks and a reasonable price, the 49ers have to pull the trigger….
Any San Francisco fan who watched the secondary against the Packers, Falcons and Ravens would agree….