Alex Smith, the floor is yours. With news that Michael Vick has restructured his deal with the Philadelphia Eagles, thus taking him off the open market, all the free agent quarterback attention now turns to San Francisco 49ers backup Alex Smith. While he’s not technically a free agent yet, Smith is going to be shopped around by the Niners and his price tag just got marked up considerably.
Vick was Smith’s only real competition this offseason when it came to who teams would be coveting as their starter for the 2013 season. Now that he’s for sure going to be back in Philadelphia, Smith is the No. 1 guy on the market but you’re going to have to trade for him if you want him.
That complicates things a bit, as with Vick, teams were going to just have to fork over money to get him. With Smith, the forking over of the money will indeed have to still happen but a forking over of draft picks will have to happen before any contract is finalized.
There was some debate as to whether the 49ers were going to cut Smith and allow him to sign anywhere he wants, or trade him and try to get some return for giving up a starting quarterback. It was reported before the Super Bowl that Niners had decided on first trying to trade Smith and then cutting him if nothing came from trade talks.
Vick’s deal doesn’t mean the 49ers are guaranteed to get a good deal for Smith, but it does mean if Smith hits the open market, he’s going to be courted heavily and eventually paid handsomely for his services somewhere in the NFL.