49ers announce trade of QB Smith to Chiefs
The Chiefs officially traded for Alex Smith on Tuesday, the first day of the new league year — and nearly two weeks after the San Francisco 49ers agreed to the deal. All that's left is for Smith to pass a physical and the paperwork to be filed with the league.
That business is expected to be finished Wednesday.
The 49ers will receive the Chiefs' second-round pick, 34th overall, in this year's draft and a conditional pick in next year's draft, a person familiar with the terms told The Associated Press. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the terms were not disclosed.
Kansas City also agreed Tuesday to a four-year, $16 million deal with former Dolphins tight end Anthony Fasano, a three-year, $12.6 million contract with defensive tackle Mike DeVito, and a three-year deal with former Saints backup quarterback Chase Daniel.
The moves continue what's been a busy offseason for the Chiefs under new general manager John Dorsey and coach Andy Reid. Last week, they signed wide receiver Dwayne Bowe to a five-year, $54 million deal, punter Dustin Colquitt to a five-year, $18.75 million deal, and placed the franchise tag on left tackle Branden Albert, promising him $9.83 million for the 2013 season.
Dorsey and Reid were not available to comment on Tuesday's moves.
"Part of this movement was from a philosophical belief that has been ingrained in me," Dorsey told AP in an interview last week, when asked about how quickly he's hit the ground running.
"Winning organizations," he said, "do moves like this."
Under the three-year contract he signed last March, Smith is guaranteed $8.5 million for the 2013 season, though it's possible the Chiefs will attempt to sign him to a new deal.
The Chiefs' big spending was made possible by carving out space under the salary cap.
The new regime has released right tackle Eric Winston, wide receiver Steve Breaston and tight end Kevin Boss, and restructured the mammoth contract of defensive end Tyson Jackson. The Chiefs are also expected to release incumbent quarterback Matt Cassel in the coming days.
The poor play of Cassel, who has two years left on a six-year, $63 million deal, is one of the reasons the Chiefs went 2-14 last year and have the No. 1 pick in the NFL draft, and why the new front office targeted Smith in the days and weeks after their arrival.
Smith had eight up-and-down years with the 49ers, but thrived under coach Jim Harbaugh. He went 13-3 as the starter two years ago, and was 6-2 at the midway point this past season, completing 18 of 19 passes with three TDs in a Monday night win over Arizona on Oct. 29.
He then sustained a concussion in the second quarter of a 24-24 tie against St. Louis on Nov. 11, saying later he threw a touchdown pass with blurry vision. Smith sat out the next game, Colin Kaepernick dazzled in his debut as an NFL starter — and Smith never started again.
Kaepernick led the 49ers to the Super Bowl and Smith became expendable.
Smith approached the delicate situation with grace, and said in response to questions about it, "I feel like the only thing I did to lose my job was get a concussion."
"We would like to thank Alex for his contributions to the 49ers organization over the past eight years," 49ers GM Trent Baalke said in a statement Tuesday. "He is a true professional who represented the 49ers with class on and off the field."
Smith will try to settle a Chiefs quarterback situation that's been shaky for years.
After leading Kansas City to the playoffs in 2010, Cassel struggled to perform at the same level. He injured a hand in 2011, forcing Tyler Palko and Kyle Orton to finish out the year, and a head injury this past season cleared the way for Brady Quinn to step in.
Quinn fared little better in eight games and became a free agent.
The only other quarterbacks on the Chiefs' roster were former fifth-round draft pick Ricky Stanzi and journeyman Alex Tanney, so Dorsey and Reid targeted Daniel to provide some depth.
Daniel has spent the past three years backing up Drew Brees in New Orleans.
Fasano, who spent the past five seasons with Miami, has proven to be a solid pass-catching tight end. He had 41 catches for 332 yards and five touchdowns last season, and has 205 catches for 2,373 yards and 24 touchdowns in 108 career games.
DeVito, a run-stuffing defensive tackle, started 15 games for the Jets last season. He'll be expected to solidify a defensive line that struggled to stop the run last season.
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