But where will the scorned QB go?
(Photo by Harry How/Getty)
This move is not surprising. The only real question seemed to be how Smith would find his way to a new team, not if.
While it was just days after ESPN's Chris Mortensen said the 49ers would not release the No. 1 overall selection from 2005, it was hard to envision a scenario where he would return to the team.
Smith's career got off to a slow start, but he has proven over the past two years that he deserves to be a starter in this league—just not with the 49ers.
On Nov. 11, Smith sustained a concussion in the first half against the St. Louis Rams. This opened the door for second-year quarterback Colin Kaepernick to show what he could do at the helm of the Niners offense, and the rest, as they say, is history.
Kaepernick started every remaining game for the 49ers and helped them get a play away from a Super Bowl title. While he suffered through some mistakes after taking over the starter's job, Kaepernick was impressive, and his physical tools are out of this world.
He left little doubt that he was the future of the 49ers franchise, and that left Smith in limbo.
Smith was playing outstanding football prior to losing his job. In fact, for the season, he completed 70.2 percent of his passes for a rating of 104.1.
While Smith would have been a luxury as a backup for the 49ers, he would have been a costly one. He is under contract for the next two seasons with a cap hit of at least $9 million in each. Not to mention, at 28 years old, Smith can't be anxious to be anyone's backup—especially considering his improved play the past two years.
Read the rest of this article with updates via our friends at Bleacher Report!