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Inside Free Agency - Day 10: Alex Smith

A look at the most interesting players available in 2013


The crazy time of year that is free agency is fast approaching, so has you covered with a 30-day free agency look, highlighting the 30 most intriguing free agents or players who could be released/traded during the offseason.

You may have noticed, there are no restricted free agents on the list, largely because they rarely leave their current teams. None of the reports are indicative of the Chiefs plans for the 2013 free agency season.

DAY 10 of 30

Name: Alex Smith
Position: QB
Height: 6'4
Weight: 217
College: Utah
Born: May 7, 1984 (Seattle, Washington)
Age: 28
Experience: 8 years
Drafted: 2005, 1st Round-1st pick overall by the San Francisco 49ers

Smith just completed his seventh NFL season (missed the 2008 season with a broken shoulder), including 75 starts in 80 games. ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter believes that the 49ers will attempt to trade Smith this offseason.

Regardless of the team Alex Smith plays for, let's look at some of his notable strengths and weaknesses.


You'll be hard pressed to find many people who won't acknowledge Smith's maturity and leadership skills, exemplified during 2012, his most impressive season to date (per 104.1 QB rating).

However, his successful run in 2012, as starting QB, ended after Smith suffered a Week 10 concussion, when he was hit by St. Louis Rams LB Jo-Lonn Dunbar. He didn't play again, after being cleared by team doctors, until the team's Week 17 win against the Arizona Cardinals.

49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh decided to keep Colin Kaepernick as the starting QB, over Smith, who later expressed his frustration, as described by Matt Maiocco of 

Nonetheless, Smith showcased his leadership skills as he continued to wear the ball cap instead of the helmet and helped mentor Colin Kaepernick to a Super Bowl XLVII-contending season, which fell short to the Ravens, 34-31.

Smith may soon have the nickname of Mr. Efficiency; check out his pass completions/attempts during his nine starts of 2012:

Week 1: 20-26
Week 2: 20-31
Week 3: 24-35
Week 4: 12-21
Week 5: 18-24
Week 6: 19-30
Week 7: 14-23
Week 8: 18-19
Bye week
Week 10: 7-8 (including 1 TD, before leaving the game with a concussion)
Week 17: 1-1 (during a victory back-up role against the Arizona Cardinals)

Of the 218 total pass attempts, Smith completed 153 throws (long of 55 yards), for a 70.2% completion percentage. He threw for 1,737 yards, 13 TDs and five INTs. You don't earn numbers like his, without being a smart decision-maker.

Dealing with change is another of Alex Smith's strengths.

The Seattle, WA native has played for four different head coaches in his eight years with the 49ers (Mike Nolan-2005-08, Mike Singletary-2008-2010, Jim Tomsula-2010 and current head coach Jim Harbaugh-2011-present).

Smith has been described as a 'great locker room guy' and a leader, who can command the huddle.


Alex hasn't shown to throw the deep ball well, which recently has been attributed to 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh getting the ball out of his hands quickly, with short-step drops.

He's also had his share of injuries, including a broken bone in his right shoulder in 2005 and most-recently, the concussion suffered in Week 10.


Alex Smith has been efficient for two-straight seasons, likely enough on its own to gauge interest from other clubs. Perhaps more importantly though, Smith has "it", the attitude and drive of a leader, required of any successful QB in the league.

In 2011, Smith threw for 3,150 yards and 17 TDs with only five INTs, leading the 49ers to their first division title since 2002.

The former #1 pick also doesn't disappear on the road and shows up in big games. In 2011, he was 6-2 on the road and won four of those games in comeback fashion -- rallying his team from behind five times in all, not to mention a 36-32 victory against the favored Saints in the 2011 NFC divisional playoffs. He completed a 14-yard touchdown pass to 49ers TE Vernon Davis, with nine seconds left to win.


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