Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 2/3/13
After a season which saw the San Francisco 49ers bench Alex Smith in favor of Colin Kaepernick, as well as the New York Jets refusing to give Tim Tebow even the slightest chance to be their starter, the one thing that is guaranteed for 2013 is that both players will soon be in need of a moving van.Instead of wasting the rest of league’s time with their castoffs, the Jets and 49ers could solve a lot of each other’s problems by simply trading Alex Smith for Tim Tebow.Now, of course the New York Jets would need to spice up the pot a little with a low-round draft pick – Alex Smith was leading the NFL in QB rating at the time of his unceremonious demotion, after all – but this trade could be the proverbial win-win situation for both teams.Why This Trade Works for the New York JetsThe New York Jets need a starting quarterback. If they are not going to give Tebow a shot, then move him to someone who can benefit from his skill set. Right now, Mark Sanchez and Greg McElroy are the only arms left in the Jets’ bullpen – not exactly the personnel that will make Rex Ryan want to flamboyantly (an unsuccessfully) guarantee a Super Bowl victory next season.With the addition of Alex Smith, the Jets would be getting a proven winner who led the San Francisco 49ers to within a Kyle Williams’ muffed punt away from the Super Bowl last season. For how maligned Alex Smith has been throughout his career, Mark Sanchez’s numbers do not even begin to approach what Smith did in 2012.In just ten games this season, Alex Smith threw 13 touchdowns to only five interceptions, recorded a QB rating of 104.1, and had a completion percentage of 70.2. Mark Sanchez also threw for 13 touchdowns; he just needed five more game to do it. He also got picked off 18 times, completed just 54.3 percent of his throws and finished with the worst QBR of any quarterback in football (23.4).It is expected that Alex Smith would ask for his release at season’s end so he can choose where he would like to go, but all indications suggest that the San Francisco 49ers will attempt to trade him rather than grant him his outright release. If the Niners released Smith, they would still owe his a roster bonus which they would not be on the hook for if he was traded.The Jets need a proven starting quarterback and the 49ers need a trading partner – win-win.Why This Trade Would Work for the San Francisco 49ersI know what you are thinking, ‘Sure the Jets trading for Alex Smith makes sense, but why would the 49ers want anything to do with Tim Tebow?’This is not a trade to make Tim Tebow the starting quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers. Colin Kaepernick has earned the job, and it is his until further notice. The problem that the 49ers will have will be in their ability to get a good insurance policy for Kaepernick.We all saw what happened to Robert Griffin, Michael Vick and countless other running-style quarterbacks of their ilk. The simple truth is that running quarterbacks get hurt. San Francisco has sold out to change their offense to suit Kaepernick’s game, so the obvious thing to do would be to find him a backup with similar skills.Tim Tebow’s days as an NFL starting quarterback may be over, but he is far from useless. If the Niners traded for Tebow for the explicit purpose of making him the second-string backup to Colin Kaepernick, then they would have someone in place that could come in and run the same exact offense if Kaepernick were to go down with an injury.People may be talking about Colin Kaepernick and Russell Wilson this season, but the success for the read-option really started last year with Tim Tebow. As a member of the Denver Broncos in 2011, Tim Tebow ran the read-option to perfection, as he threw 12 touchdowns to only six interceptions, piled up 660 yard rushing with six scores on the ground, and managed to do someone not even Peyton Manning could do for the Broncos: win a playoff game.There are not many running-style backup quarterback options for the San Francisco 49ers to choose from next season. Unless they want to run the risk of having to revamp their entire offensive strategy in the event of a Colin Kaepernick injury, then Tim Tebow makes a lot of sense as a backup by the Bay in 2013. 
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