Originally written 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.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Urban Meyer hints JT Barrett leads Ohio State starting QB competition

Boras: Marlins players are angry Marcell Ozuna is in minors

Report: Chancellor officially holding out of training camp

Cardinals' Jen Welter is 'tired of hearing about Tom Brady's balls'

Sandoval downplays talk about weight, conditioning, defense

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Astros acquire Carlos Gomez from Brewers

Richardson charged for resisting arrest after high-speed chase

Yankees finally get Dustin Ackley

Five most overrated teams in the CFB preseason coaches’ poll

Murphy pulled players to give media ‘something to think about’

Robert Kraft signs fan’s ‘Free Brady’ poster

Giants acquire Mike Leake from Reds for two prospects

Twins closer's wife pens essay about Twitter hate he's enduring

Kings set to make Lieberman NBA’s second female coach

Is Julius Randle a star?

Projecting the prospects in the David Price trade

'Miracle on Ice' goalie selling Olympic gear for $5.7 million

Josh Smith addresses ‘harder on me’ comment in essay

Examining the state of the NFL

Steelers players: Who is Jimmy Garoppolo?

Tigers’ reboot continues, Joakim Soria traded to Pirates

Matthews ‘felt disrespected’ Blazers didn’t try to re-sign him

Cardinals ink billion dollar TV deal from Fox Sports Midwest

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

Examining the state of the NFL

Puig: Broke out of slump by playing baseball video games

Braves dump risk, exchange it for risk

David Price traded to Blue Jays

The indefensible Hulk Hogan

Cole Hamels chose Rangers over Astros

Can Preller fix the mess in San Diego?

Next summer's top 10 NBA free agents

Who is the NL's new top shortstop?

Cardinals HC Bruce Arians calls Jen Welter a 'trailblazer'

Mets still act like a small-market team

Tom Brady: I did nothing wrong

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