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By TED SILLANPAA

The 49ers took an incredible risk by turning the quarterback job to Colin Kaepernick. The kid blossomed into one of the top prospective superstars in the NFL. The who Kaepernick could’ve been disaster if Alex Smith hadn’t opted to handle his demotion with professionalism sadly missing in professional sports these days.

During the pre-Super Bowl preparations, the Niners said they’d reward Smith by trading him or releasing him to hook on with a team where he can be a starter again. It’s the way successful businesses operate, I think. In the 49ers’ spot, I’d like to think I’d reward Smith even if it meant it hurt my team a little. They could, after all, just keep him for another season and make him suffer sitting behind Kaepernick. The club seems to wantto do what seems fair to Smith.

ESPN’s Chris Mortensen reported that the 49ers have decided they won’t necessarily trade or release Smith. The story broke Wednesday night … probably at the exact moment that the Niners were rebuffed by a potential trade partner willing to offer nothing of value for a quarterback they’ve acknowledged they’re willing to release.

The 49ers didn’t change their mind and decide that Smith isn’t worthy of a chance to start elsewhere after how he handled losing his job in San Francisco. They haven’t decided that fans and media types who insist they owe Smith nothing. What they owe Smith is a healthy salary and he’s got that in San Francisco, right?

Wrong. The guy handled himself like he fell off the cover of a 1958 “Sports Illustrated” NFL edition. He put the team first. Said all the right things. And, the 49ers needed him to do that even when the world could see Kaepernick was the quarterback of their future. For being a professional when modern athletes tend to put self first, Smith’s going to traded or, maybe, released. No question.

The Niners just had to appear that maybe they’ve decided they won’t trade or release Smith in order to get potential trade partners more interesting in offering something of value in return.

 

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Comments

19 Comments

  1. The Bat

    Who do you think rebuffed them? Was it the Chiefs? They seem to need a quarterback and there aren’t any clear cut favorites in the draft. Do you think the Niners asked too much for Smith in the trade?

    February 22nd, 2013 10:18 am

  2. overtime

    Bat…I don’t know if a specific team turned down a trade offer. I just believe that what they said during Super Bowl week about sending Smith packing is still the plan and that the only reason they’d now be saying otherwise was to let other teams know they aren’t going to just give him away. I doubt that the 49ers will expect a great deal in return for Smith, but they want some value. TED

    February 22nd, 2013 1:05 pm

  3. Just me

    Think about it…By them saying they would release Smith of course teams aren’t going to jump on a trade and Smith would be free to sign with anyone…so now with them saying they wouldn’t release him they want to build up his trade value and get something in return in hoping sometime will bite….

    February 22nd, 2013 5:52 pm

  4. The Bat

    Exactly, but that was why I was ambivalent about their statement that they would either trade or release him. If they were rebuffed on trade value, perhaps by a team waiting for him to be released, then the message to Smith is, either you get us something of value in a trade, or you ride out your contract behind Kaepernick. They won’t simply release him and get nothing. It wouldn’t be good business for the team that way. It would be best for Smith, however. This is when the Niner Brass literally puts their money where their mouth is.

    February 22nd, 2013 6:42 pm

  5. Jacques Levy

    Oh the fascination with a new fad. The read option is nice as a surprise, but over time it is a simplistic college offense which will not win in the NFL. The reasons are two;
    1) it cuts off half the field in the passing game
    2) it is a modified version of the single wing which will get the tailback killed
    Truth be told everything the 49ers are doing is a mea culpa for being to smart by half when they selected Smith over Rodgers, a read option guy over a pocket presence. How did that work out?

    February 23rd, 2013 12:03 pm

  6. Owen

    Alex Smith has been f–led over by the team since being drafted. First a lazy susan turntable of offensive coordinators, one more incompetent then the next. Followed by Nolan, a callous south end of a horse heading north who almost got him killed. Finally a highly competent Harbaugh who helped him to grow, then violated the number one rule in sports, a player does not lose a job due to injury, which has been accepted because of the success CK had. For once management should show some class. Provide the man an opportunity to play with a franchise that wants him, will treat him with respect,& provide him an opportunity to reach his full potential

    February 23rd, 2013 12:31 pm

  7. overtime

    Owen … Good thoughts. Thanks for reading. I agree that, like any business organization, it never hurts to a little extra good to an employee. Ted

    February 23rd, 2013 2:39 pm

  8. overtime

    Jacques…Time will tell if the NFL defenses catch up to the read option. I suspect that the NFL defensive coordinators will adjust … then NFL offensive coordinators will adjust it. And, we’re in a new age of athletes so maybe we don’t know what a 6-foot-5 stud with incredible speed and passing accuracy like Kaepernick can take in terms of big hits, etc. Good thoughts. Thanks for sharing them. TED

    February 23rd, 2013 2:42 pm

  9. overtime

    Bat…We’ll see what the 49ers wind up doing. It might be good for the organization in the long run to be considered an outfit that treats extremely loyal players extra well. TED

    February 23rd, 2013 2:43 pm

  10. overtime

    Just…Yeah…obviously. You’re right. I agree. Thanks for reading. TED

    February 23rd, 2013 2:43 pm

  11. Owen

    I am certain CK can take a big hit. But history shows the more big hits the greater chance of injury. It only takes one. More importantly the offense is simplistic, closes more doors then it opens and is totally dependent on the skills of one player. The read option quarterback is a direct descendent of the triple threat single wing tailback. An offense discarded in the 50′s for thievery reasons this one will fail. But hey, if believing reread option can beat Rodgers, Brees or Flacco regularly floats your boat then you probably are a Fox News devotee

    February 23rd, 2013 3:04 pm

  12. overtime

    Owen…I don’t know whether the offense will live, die, flounder or prosper. There was a time when the forward pass was considered a most suspicious, dangerous way to try to advance the ball, too. Given my choice of every young QB in the NFL … I’d take Andrew Luck and the style of attack he runs best. However, I tend to think Jim Harbaugh (and Mike Shanahan) and others who went to the read-option know a little more about how it works, how defenses will adjust, how that will mean the offense will adjust, etc. … And, while I don’t spend time watching Fox News, I’m not sure I’m in favor of questioning the intellect of those who do … at least not here. Thanks for your thoughts…they’re well considered. Ted

    February 23rd, 2013 5:14 pm

  13. Owen

    Right on. Luck is the next great step forward. Hope CK can be in echelon right below, stay healthy and learn how to read defenses correctly. If he can do that te 49ers are in great shape going forward.

    Glad to hear you are nota Fox devotee. But please feel free to question the intellect of both their viewer and commentators. They’re so lacking in intelligence & social awareness that they have brought Ben Franklins concerns about our ability to maintain the type of gov’t bequeathed us, a republic, to the fore.

    February 24th, 2013 1:13 am

  14. overtime

    Owen…This just doesn’t seem like the place for me, or anyone else, to question the intellect of people who watch Fox News, MSNBC or CNN. I don’t consider myself a follower of any news channel or the real or perceived values we think one or the other espouses. The last thing on earth I’d do here is try to attract fans by writing about sports and then use this space thinking anyone cares about my views on political and social issues. They’re important but … for another spot. Here? I can get along with people who watch MSNBC, read the Wall Street Journal, watch Glenn Beck online, etc. … because this isn’t about our differences … well, unless we differ on who should be the Giants No. 5 hitter or who should return punts for the 49ers or Raiders. Thanks for reading. TED

    February 24th, 2013 12:41 pm

  15. Owen

    Bright man—following Michael Jordan’s approach? But you need not worry. The PD is literate and fact based,creating little chance those in the extreme bubble read the print media

    February 24th, 2013 2:54 pm

  16. overtime

    Owen…I’ve never been compared to Jordan in any regard. This comparison is about as far out of line as comparing my jump shot to his in his prime. Nobody reads my sports blog to read my views on how I’d stimulate the economy, promote social programs or address gun control … just for example. Part of the problem we have today is that we never make any attempt to find compromise … to listen and understand the positions of others … we just give our opinions and look for hardline opinions from others to agree or argue with. For example … you jump to a conclusion about why I don’t write about anything except lifestyle and sports here. You try to tweak me for determining that I won’t advance my real-world views mixing them in with talk of the read option, sports parenting, etc. And, then, come back with a knock on the newspaper and the print media. You think that enhances the chance you and I are ever going to have a conversation of the things we both find important…outside of sports? Pick your spots … don’t take shots … then people will listen to what you have to say when you really want them to listen. TED

    February 24th, 2013 3:35 pm

  17. Owen

    No knock, the print media rocks @the PD a throwback to the time when good writing was properly edited. A time when the reader could rely on the integrity of the facts reported.
    MJ also refused to embroil himself in political discourse. His stock answer was “republicans buy sneakers too”.
    I donot tweak your discretion in choosing what you write. Merely take note that the nuance of your conversation would not play well in the shallow bubble of the fringe element. It was meant as a compliment to a literary and nuanced writer who adds substantively to cool discourse.
    We need compromise in today’s climate. In that vein it is difficult, if not impossable, tothe separate disciplines which

    February 24th, 2013 8:15 pm

  18. Owen

    No knock, no tweak. Just appreciative of civil discourse. Fact based and nuanced. Hard to find in a time of reporting which does not fact check reporting before publishing.
    MJ said he failed to enter political discourse for “republicans buy sneakers too”.That was the comparison.
    The PD is a great paper. A throwback. I am proud it is my hometown “rag”

    February 24th, 2013 8:19 pm

  19. overtime

    Owen…I allow anonymous comments to encourage people to share their thoughts. As a result, I trade a number of comments like, “You’re a jerk. You’re terrible! You probably didn’t even play sports!” for one or two that make me think and really spend some time responding. Thanks! Ted

    February 24th, 2013 8:34 pm

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