Originally posted on NESN.com  |  Last updated 1/28/13
Unless Alex Smith has to relieve Colin Kaepernick in Super Bowl XLVII this Sunday, the former No. 1 overall pick has likely played his last game with the 49ers. Now, San Francisco has to pick between trading Smith and his $8.5 million contract, or releasing him. The quarterback would prefer the latter. Smith will ask for his release before the start of free agency, March 12, according to Pro Football Talk. That would mean Smith would not receive the $8.5 million due to him in 2013, but he could pick the team of his choice. Other than Joe Flacco, who is expected to be franchised or re-signed by the Ravens this offseason, Smith is the top free agent quarterback going into 2013. There are plenty of quarterback-needy teams, and the 2013 NFL draft doesn’t have a clear cut No. 1 signal caller. Before getting benched by the 49ers in favor of Kaepernick because of a concussion, Smith threw for 1,737 yards, 13 touchdowns, five interceptions and a 70.2-percent completion percentage. His yards per attempt, quarterback rating and completion percentage were all career highs. Smith led the 49ers to the NFC Championship Game during the 2011 season. The 49ers fell to the New York Giants 20-17. Smith completed 12 of 26 attempts for 196 yards with two touchdowns. Smith’s career has been filled with ups and down since being drafted No. 1 overall by San Francisco in 2005. He had his best years under Jim Harbaugh the past two seasons.

This article first appeared on NESN.com and was syndicated with permission.

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

WATCH: Birthday boy Aaron Judge homers and makes spectacular catch at Fenway

Warriors invite members of ‘We Believe’ team to playoff game

Emmanuel Sanders says Paxton Lynch no longer has ‘deer in headlights’ look

Report: Adrian Beltre not close to return to Rangers

Report: Emails suggest no foul play in Eli Manning memorabilia case

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Rockets owner Leslie Alexander fined $100,000 for confronting official

Genie Bouchard: Maria Sharapova is ‘cheater,’ should be banned for life

Marshawn Lynch confirms he has joined the Raiders

Browns’ Joe Thomas: ‘I’m already seeing memory loss’

Westbrook hasn’t ‘even thought about’ contract extension

Pirates call up Gift Ngoepe, first MLB player from African continent

The 'Bonehead blunder that watered down the 1931 AL home run crown' quiz

Draft prospects we're most excited to see in the NFL

Stanley Cup Playoffs: The West is full of surprises

Box Score 4/26: NFL Draft eve

Everything you need for the 2017 NFL Draft

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

The 'QB or not QB? That is the question' quiz

How the Astros are following the Cubs' blueprint to the top

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Paul Millsap needs a twin phone

Perfect matches: Handpicking players for certain teams in the 2017 NFL Draft

NFL Draft do-overs we'd most like to see

NFL Draft X-factor players you may have missed during their college careers

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

The 'Bonehead blunder that watered down the 1931 AL home run crown' quiz

Draft prospects we're most excited to see in the NFL

Stanley Cup Playoffs: The West is full of surprises

Everything you need for the 2017 NFL Draft

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

How the Astros are following the Cubs' blueprint to the top

The 'QB or not QB? That is the question' quiz

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Paul Millsap needs a twin phone

Perfect matches: Handpicking players for certain teams in the 2017 NFL Draft

NFL Draft do-overs we'd most like to see

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker