After much speculation, news has finally broke that the San Francisco 49ers have agreed to trade Alex Smith to the Kansas City Chiefs for a 2013 second-round pick (34th overall) along with a conditional 2014 mid-round selection. Even though the trade cannot be finalized until Mar. 12, the deal is essentially official. Analyzing this trade right now, both teams made strides.
The 49ers get another draft pick, making it 15 total in this year’s draft. There’s depth in the upcoming draft, and Trent Baalke and Co. can stock up on young talent. They also have the flexibility of moving up to select that one player they truly covet, or they can exchange those extra picks for an established veteran. The organization has certainly placed themselves in a favorable position to maintain success for the short and long term. Trading Smith out of the division is another bonus.
Fresh off a Super Bowl appearance, San Francisco gets to build on their 2012 accomplishments while retaining most of its homegrown talent. Many of their core players are still young, and dual-threat quarterback Colin Kaepernick should only progress. The rich just got richer.
Nearly 2,000 miles east, Kansas City obtains a quarterback they feel confident in. After being the good soldier for all these years, Smith now gets to line up under center without having to look over his shoulder. The former first-overall selection has definitely earned a fresh start.
Smith’s new head coach, Andy Reid, has a strong history of getting the most out of his signal-callers. From Donovan McNabb to Kevin Kolb to Michael Vick, Reid is capable of constructing an offense tailored to his quarterback’s strengths.
But after winning just two games last year, the Chiefs have their work cut out for themselves. The offensive line needs an upgrade, and the receiving corps is less than stellar. If the Chiefs can secure wideout Dwayne Bowe for at least another season under the franchise tag, pairing him with Smith would form a respectable foundation. When given protection, Smith can run an offense, evidenced by his 70.2 completion percentage. He also led the 49ers to a 20-6-1 record (including the playoffs) in his past two seasons as the starter. Under Jim Harbaugh, the veteran has learned how to win.
Relinquishing two quality draft picks is a steep price to pay, but the Chiefs sorely needed a new quarterback. Turning 29 years old in May, Smith still has a long career ahead of him.
On this day, each organization took a big step forward.