November 25, 2012; New Orleans, LA, USA; San Francisco 49ers quarterback Alex Smith (11) watches from the sidelines during first quarter of their game against the New Orleans Saints at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick (7) started the game instead of Smith. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

San Francisco 49ers Rumors: Alex Smith Expected to Seek Release

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Alex Smith started the season as the team’s starer, but will be watching Super Bowl XLVII from the sidelines after being benched by head coach Jim Harbaugh mid-season in favor of second-year signal-caller Colin Kaepernick.

Many believe that the 49ers will be looking to deal Smith in the offseason, since there will be a market of a handful of quarterback needy teams. However, it is now being reported that Smith will be seeking his release before the start of free agency.

Smith is set to earn $8.5 million in 2013, so the contract could make him hard to trade.

It would also be a nice gesture from the 49ers to grant Smith a release and allow him to choose his next home. Smith has handled his benching with the most class and has been a model citizen for the San Francisco organization. It would have been easy for Smith to cause a scene after being benched in favor of Kaepernick, but he was the definition of a team player and rolled him the punches.

This is a business, but it would be nice to see a team finally reward a player for being loyal, even if it could cost them some minor compensation.

Tags: Alex Smith San Francisco 49ers

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