49ers will send Alex Smith to Chiefs
Alex Smith is headed to Kansas City, the first major acquisition by the Chiefs since Andy Reid took over as coach.
A person with knowledge of the trade told The Associated Press on Wednesday that the Chiefs have agreed to deal for the 2005 top overall draft pick who lost his starting quarterback job in San Francisco to Colin Kaepernick last season.
The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the trade does not become official until March 12, when the NFL's new business year begins. Fox Sports first reported the deal.
Smith sustained a concussion Nov. 11 and Kaepernick played well in his place. Coach Jim Harbaugh stuck with him even when Smith got healthy, and Kaepernick led the 49ers to the NFC championship and a close loss to Baltimore in the Super Bowl.
The 28-year-old Smith struggled for most of his career in San Francisco, plagued as much by coaching and coordinator changes as by his own indecisiveness. But when Harbaugh became coach, Smith blossomed. He was among the league leaders in passer rating (104.1) with a 70.2 completion percentage when he was injured in a 24-24 tie against St. Louis.
Smith never started again for the 49ers, but now will replace Matt Cassel in Kansas City.
The Chiefs went 2-14 in 2012, earning the top pick in April's draft. But with no standout quarterbacks coming out of college this year, they quickly turned to finding a veteran.
Reid was fired by Philadelphia after 14 highly successful seasons, although the Eagles went 4-12 last year. Kansas City made him the first coach hired to fill a vacancy in January - there were eight of them - and the Chiefs also fired general manager Scott Pioli.
Now Reid has found his quarterback, and Smith has found another starting job.