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Monday, February 25, 2013
Setting a price for 49ers' Alex Smith

By Mike Sando


Recent updates regarding Alex Smith's trade status do not include a couple key details: which team would acquire the San Francisco 49ers quarterback and at what price.

The Kansas City Chiefs have been mentioned consistently as a potential trade partner. That provides us with a starting point for projecting value.

Andy Reid is the Chiefs' new head coach. John Dorsey is their new general manager. Both were previously with organizations that participated in quarterback trades.

In 2011, Reid's Philadelphia Eagles sent Kevin Kolb to Arizona for cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and a 2012 second-round draft choice.

In 2010, the Eagles sent quarterback Donovan McNabb to Washington for a 2010 second-round choice and a 2011 fourth-rounder.

In 2004, the Eagles traded A.J. Feeley to Miami for a 2005 second-round choice.

Those trades involved Reid's team parting with a quarterback. The Eagles did not acquire prominent quarterbacks by trade during his tenure with the team.

Those trades suggest Reid might value a viable quarterback as being worth a second-round choice, at least.

Other factors can affect the price, of course. In this case, the 49ers face an April 1 deadline for paying a $1 million bonus to Smith and guaranteeing his $7.5 million salary for 2013. That could make the 49ers a little more eager to complete a deal. It could empower the Chiefs or other teams to wait out San Francisco. However, teams serious about acquiring quarterbacks might prefer getting a deal done to risking the player for what could be a small gain in the end.

Dorsey, meanwhile, was with the Green Bay Packers for most of the past two decades. He also spent a short time with Seattle under Mike Holmgren. Dorsey was with the Packers when Green Bay traded quarterbacks Mark Brunell, Matt Hasselbeck and Aaron Brooks.

In 1995, the Packers got third- and fifth-round picks from Jacksonville for Brunell.

In 2001, the Packers sent Hasselbeck and the 17th overall choice in the draft to Seattle for the 10th overall choice and a third-round pick. Seattle spent the equivalent of a high second-round choice for Hasselbeck.

The 2000 trade involving Brooks netted a 2001 third-round choice from New Orleans. The teams also traded additional players. Green Bay landed linebacker K.D. Williams. The Saints got tight end Lamont Hall.

Based on precedent, the 49ers should be looking to get a second- or third-round choice from the Chiefs for Smith, should they do a deal with Kansas City.

San Francisco already owns a league-high 11 choices in the 2013 draft. The team figures to gain compensatory choices as well.

For those reasons, and because Smith has a mixed record in the NFL, a deal involving a conditional choice could make the most sense. In that case, the 49ers would be looking at a higher 2014 choice if Smith played well for his new team.