49ers QB Alex Smith Likely To Request Release; Possible Destinations For Veteran Signal Caller

Alex Smith was the Wally Pipp of the 2012 season after losing the starting QB job to second-year quarterback Colin Kaepernick. After the season, Smith is expected to request his release from the 49ers, according to Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.com.

Smith, the 2005 first overall selection, finally broke out last season, leading the 49ers to the NFC Championship Game, but unfortunately suffered a nasty concussion which ultimately led to Kaepernick’s emergence as the team’s starter. Kaepernick’s play has cemented the former Nevada star as San Francisco’s quarterback of the future, leaving Smith in limbo.

Smith is known as a “game manager,” a quarterback who does not take unwarranted risks, but he is clearly not an upper-echelon quarterback on par with Aaron Rodgers or Peyton Manning.

However, Smith would be a huge upgrade for many teams, including the New York Jets, the Buffalo Bills, and the Philadelphia Eagles.

New York certainly has a mess at quarterback, but Smith would not be the right choice for Gang Green. The team has minimal talent on offense, most notably at running back and wide receiver. The Jets would be better off blowing the team up and looking to the draft for a quarterback rather than signing Smith.

The Bills would be the best fit for the 28-year old, as they already have solid offensive pieces in place, such as running back CJ Spiller and wide receiver Stevie Johnson. It’s obvious the team has soured on quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, so don’t be surprised if the perennial AFC East cellar dwellers make a run at the former 49ers signal-caller.

Philadelphia would be the most intriguing landing spot for Smith, but there are serious doubts about how well he would fit into head coach Chip Kelly’s offense. Kelly would be better served keeping current quarterbacks Michael Vick and Nick Foles on the roster, or going after West Virginia product Geno Smith, than signing Smith as a free agent.

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