New Kansas City Chiefs coach Andy Reid now has a quarterback. The Chiefs acquired former 49ers starter Alex Smith, according to Fox Sports' Jay Glazer.
While the deal cannot be officially announced March 12, ESPN.com's Adam Schefter reported on Twitter that the "Chiefs traded second-round pick, the second pick in the second round, to SF. Niners also got another conditional mid-round pick in 2014."
Smith, who directed the 49ers to the NFC Championship game in 2010 and finished third in QB rating last season, lost his job to rising star Colin Kaepernick midway through last season.
Not only is Smith's time in the Bay Area over, so is the Matt Cassel era in Kansas City. The Chiefs are expected to release the veteran QB, who went 1-7 in eight starts last season and finished with a 66.7 QB rating. Kansas City owns the No.1 pick in the upcoming NFL Draft, but this year's class comes is void of franchise passers.
While Smith turned in solid work on the field for the 49ers over the last two seasons, he never turned into a fantasy hero. During his eight-year career, Smith has never thrown for more than 18 touchdowns or 3,100 yards in a season. There is a reasonable chance his numbers rise playing in Reid's pass-happy system, though fantasy owners initially should consider Smith no more than a QB2 and a low-end one at that.
The biggest beneficiaries of this move, the Chiefs skilled players. Rather than endure another season with Cassel or play with a rookie passer, Jamaal Charles, Dexter McCluster and Jon Baldwin now will have a steady veteran under center. Should free agent Dwayne Bowe stick in Kansas City, he remains a solid WR2 next season.
Now, about the compensation...wow, that is hefty price, especially for a player who nobody views as a long-term solution. However, Smith is by far the top QB option available this off-season and the Chiefs are wise not to invest in a rookie signal caller with the overall No. 1 pick. Certainly a coup for the 49ers, who wisely moved Smith for both salary cap and locker room reasons.
Cassel is no prize and certainly not worth the $7.3 million is set to earn next season, which is why he is an obvious waiver option, However, he now becomes arguably the top available quarterback (depending on Matt Flynn's situation). Teams like Arizona and Cleveland could be interested, along with those seeking a viable backup option.