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49ers GM Trent Baalke on trading Alex Smith: “We’re going to look at all options available.”

Post by Eric Williams on Feb. 21, 2013 at 8:18 am with 19 Comments »
February 21, 2013 8:18 am

San Francisco general manager Trent Baalke was the first person to take the podium and address reporters this morning at the NFL Scouting Combine here in Indianapolis.

And of course, one of the main topics of discussion was what his team will do with backup quarterback Alex Smith moving forward.

The University of Utah product was replaced by Colin Kaepernick midway through the season last year, but still has some value on the market via trade. Smith finished with a 104.1 passer rating in 2012 before he was replaced by Kaepernick.

Expect Seattle general manager John Schneider to keep a close eye on what’s happening in San Francisco, because the possibility of the 49ers moving Smith also affects the trade value of Seattle backup quarterback Matt Flynn.

“I was out to dinner with Liz and Alex when we got back from the Super Bowl,” Baalke said about Smith. “We had a great conversation, had a great dinner, and just a chance to sit down with him and go through what our thoughts were, and listen to what their thoughts were as a family. And really get an understanding of what direction we wanted to go.”

If the 49ers keep Smith beyond April 1, the team will have to pay his 2013 contract of $8.5 million.

“He is a pro’s pro,” Baalke said. “I have nothing but great respect for him and his family. And we’re certainly going to do everything in our power to make the best decision for everyone involved.”

“We’re going to look at all options available,” Baalke said, when asked about the possibility of trading Smith. “Are we going to trade him for sure? No, that hasn’t been decided.”

Baalke also talked about the increased competition in the NFC West, and how the 49ers will have their work cut out for them in defending the NFC West title, and ultimately getting back to the Super Bowl.

“We’re going to have to go back to work,” he said. “It’s an awfully good division, a competitive division. It’s a physical division. All four teams play a physical brand of football. They play very well on the defensive side of the ball.

“Offensively, there’s a lot of playmakers within the division. And it’s a well-coached division. In order to stay on top of that division, we’ve got to get better. We can’t stay the same, and we certainly can’t take a step back.”

Scouting combine
Leave a comment Comments → 19
  1. sluggo42 says:

    Interesting, will he drive the price up, or down for Flynn…?
    No good QB’s on the draft board, that helps too… Alex is already proven, I would guess his value to be high…

  2. GeorgiaHawk says:

    Yea it will be interesting sluggo42 to see how Smith effects the qb value for the likes of Flynn and others.

    I’m hoping that the QB hungry teams pass on the QBs early in the 1st round, setting up perhaps some trade up scenarios with the teams picking later in the first round like the Seahawks. That would be nice if we could add a future high pick or two, kinda like how we got the pick that became Earl Thomas.

  3. GeorgiaHawk says:

    Of course I wouldn’t want them to do that if they can’t fill the Defensive line needs this year.

  4. montanamike2 says:

    Smith did get good after a number of years in his own system. He will gain a lot because the qb class is weak. Flynn should get a better trade too, i like the Earl Thomas reference.

  5. Dukeshire says:

    Personally, I think Flynn’s value is highest with Seattle. I just can’t imagine any team giving up much draft capital for him.

  6. Ambassador says:

    I agree with Duke. Flynn is still an untested commodity. As much as a GM would love for him to become the next Aaron Rodgers, it’s still a gamble.

    Eric, is there a way to track all the interviews JS and PC and their staff conduct with players at the combine?

  7. I also agree with Duke for the most part but not all GM’s are of sound mind. Schneider is sly…no clever. If there is a taker to be taken, he’ll find him!


  8. Carlsonkid says:

    The QB class this year isn’t all that great . I would think there will be a market for the likes of Smith and Flynn ..

  9. How many years has Flynn been a backup? A.Rogers backed up Favre for awhile, true, but Flynn is backing up a younger QB and it must seem to him like he might end up like a better version of C.Whitehurst. (?)

  10. Dukeshire says:

    This will be his 4th season.

  11. I’d like to see Alex Smith go somewhere and see what he can do, though not Arizona. There is an argument for SF keeping him in case Kaepernick goes down, but… I would guess they’d take a 4th rounder to get rid of the salary. As for Flynn, I’d like to see him get a chance to start somewhere else, again excluding Arizona. Would the Hawks take a 5th rounder for him? I think the answer is yes, since they didn’t give up anything for him besides money.

  12. Alex Smith over the course of his career has basically been dog sh%t. He had 1.5 decent seasons and those came playing behind the best O-line in the league. Jimmy “temper tantrum” Harbaugh did help him but Alex was a product of that line. Now the Niners are in a bind with Smith’s $9.75M cap hit (highest on the team) and want to make it seem like some team is going to get a prize via trade. What any trade partner would really get is an overpaid, mediocre, game managing qb playing behind their inferior O-line. Also the 9ers are on the hook for his pay if he is not released by April 1 I believe. He’s a great backup for the 9ers at a reduced salary but if that doesn’t happen he’s just as likely to be cut vs. traded. If I’m a GM who wants Smith(for some strange reason) then I’m sweating these guys out.

    The main difference in the Flynn vs. Smith situation is that the Hawks have plenty of cap space to keep him this year and to me he is worth more to our team than a 5th round pick. We are not as seemingly desperate to move or dump MF as SF is with Smith. Certainly both teams like their QB depth. It’s just the inverted pay that makes things weird.

  13. yankinta says:

    I disagree with all of you. It’s all about Supply vs. Demand. There are 8+ teams with QB needs and there are only 2 Starting Caliber QB’s available in the free agent. There are no 1st round grade QB in the Draft. Do the Math, people!!!

    Why was the price for Charlie Whitehurst So High?? Supply vs. Demand!!! Demand was higher the Supply.

    Why was Flynn not pursued last year? Supply vs. Demand!! There were 3 1st round grade QB in the draft last year. There were only 4 teams with QB need last year!!!

  14. Dukeshire says:

    No need to get hysterical, simply a digference of opinion. And while this QB draft class looks to be much shallower than last year, that doesn’t necessarily mean teams will automatically overspend to fill their needs.

  15. We wont know Flynn’s value until he is either traded or kept on the team and here past the trade deadline. One thing that complicates the whole thing is NFL franchises are loathe to give up fair compensation in a trade, especially draft picks. They may covet a guy and still try to play games to get him cheap; GM’s are as wily as poker players.

    One thing to consider is trading Flynn for a player. We need help at several positions; perhaps we could score a DT or DE or WR or even a G or T worth more than we could get in a draft pick. Consider that we already have 10 draft picks, and Schneider and Carrol have said publicly that it will be hard for most of the picks to make the team. So, we dont need a fourth round pick or below, it wont do us any good. And if we cant get say, a third round pick for Flynn, we may have a better shot of getting value for a player rather than a pick.

    I think thats a more likely scenario than us getting a third for him.

  16. Whitehurst wasnt a very good trade. I defended it at the time, and still do, but it obviously wasnt a great deal for Seattle. However, Seattle overvalued him because at the time we had Jeremy Bates, whose system needed a tall, strong-armed qb. Seattle tried and failed to get Trent Edwards first, and the only guy we could get at who fit the mold was Clipboard. Plus, the Tards got involved and drove the price up, damn their hides!

    Dont think for a moment that teams wont pick qb’s in the first round, because they will. I will be shocked if less than 3 go in the first, and I expect 6 to go in the first 2 rounds. There is just such a premium on the position.

  17. yankinta says:

    I would bet my hard earned dollars that 3 QBs will not go in the 1st round. Yes, we can trade Flynn for 2nd or 3rd round pick this year and then trade those pick for 2014 picks, like what what did with Denver to get Earl Thomas…. That is my hope as well.

    Either way, we need to hit big in the 3rd, 4th or 5th rounds for a 3 Technique DT. Did you know that Henry Melton, and Geno Atkins are both 4th round picks?? Both are Pro Bowl/All Pro DT that can get double digits sacks from the inside.

  18. Yankita–I didnt know those guys were 4th rounders, but Melton hasnt ever had double-digit sacks. I think he had 4 this year, 6 last year. But I get your point. If it was easy to get guys of that caliber in the 4th, everyone would be doing it. It isnt impossible, but its rare.

    Also, Seattle drafted Mark Legree ahead of Richard Sherman in the fifth round that year. So they DONT know EVERYTHING! They also havent hit home runs on 4th round picks. Only KJ Wright and Robert Turbin have turned out to be steals. Their other picks either failed immediately (EJ Henderson or whatever his name was) or have yet to accomplish anything (Jaye Howard). But yeah, it’d be GREAT to find a stud DT in the second to fourth round…

    I’ll be happy if we find one good DE and one DT and one of each for depth out of FA and the draft. WR, G/T, and OLB after that, in any order that works out!

    I think we trade several picks to move up in the second, and maybe the first, just enough to land those D-lineman we need so badly..

  19. It seems likely that there will be 2-3 quarterbacks in the first round. Even in especially weak QB years, there are QB’s taken fairly early. As a fan of Locker, I still did not think he would be taken as early as he was. Barkely, as far as he has fallen, will still be taken in the top ten, in my opinion, and there might be another in that near range.

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