49ers shouldn't be reluctant to trade Smith within division

49ers shouldn't be reluctant to trade Smith within division
February 20, 2013, 9:15 am
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In 11 career games against Arizona, Alex Smith is 6-5 with 10 touchdowns and seven interceptions. (USA TODAY IMAGES)

Programming note: Relive the 49ers' run to the Super Bowl by tuning in to '49ers Final Cut,' premiering tonight at 6:30 on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area.

Every NFL decision-maker and agent will be in Indianapolis through the weekend for the NFL scouting combine.

If the 49ers don't already know, they should have a strong indication of the trade market for backup quarterback Alex Smith in the coming days.

The trade period officially begins March 12 at 1 p.m. (PT). But conversations will undoubtedly occur throughout the next week.

Any team interested in trading for Smith would pick up the final two years of his contract, in which he is scheduled to make from $8 million to $11 million annually. That is the price the 49ers paid for Smith a year ago after he was under center for a team that won 14 games and advanced to the NFC Championship Game. With the league-wide salary cap not expected to rise much in 2013, it's possible any team that might want Smith might want him at their own price.

Kansas City and Cleveland are viewed as potential landing spots. Arizona is another. Each organization has new coaches. Andy Reid is in Kansas City. Rob Chudzinski and new coordinator Norv Turner are in Cleveland. And Bruce Arians has taken over for Ken Whisenhunt with the Cardinals.

Some believe it's a priority for the 49ers to send Smith to the AFC. But, really, there should not be any reluctance from the 49ers to deal Smith within the NFC West. After all, coach Jim Harbaugh and his coaching staff were credited with designing an offense for Smith to succeed. They would also have the blueprint for defending him.

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