Alex Smith Release Could Happen Before March as 49ers Consider Trade

Reports are indicating that former San Francisco 49ers starting quarterback Alex Smith is asking to be released from the team before the free agency deadline in March.

Smith, currently listed as the 49ers backup quarterback, is considering asking to be released from the team before free agency begins on March 12, according to reports from Mike Florio of

Many NFL analysts have said the Smith was just unlucky when he was diagnosed with a concussion during the 49ers week 10 game against the St. Louis Rams. The following week, Smith was listed as inactive when the 49ers faced the Chicago Bears and marked the unofficial change as Smith was replaced with Colin Kaepernick, a 2011 second-round draft pick from Nevada.

Before being replaced by Kaepernick, Smith was on pace to have a career year. In the first 10 games of the 2012 season Smith was completing over 70 percent of his passes for a total of 1,737 yards. He also managed to throw 13 touchdowns with only five interceptions.

Current 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh was impressed with Smith and decided to stick with him and make him the team's starting quarterback last season. The Niners were able to make it to the NFC championship game before losing to the New York Giants last year.

In the end, the NFL is a sports business and the first overall pick of the 2005 NFL Draft recently signed a 3-year, $24 million contract with the Niners. A large portion of the money being guaranteed.

Smith is set to collect a base salary of $7.5 million in 2013, with $1 million guaranteed. The 49ers do have a few weeks to test the waters to see if any other teams would be interested in signing Smith.

The 49ers are keeping an eye on April 1 because if Smith is still listed on the official 49ers' roster, the remaining $6.5 million of his new deal will become guaranteed, forcing the club to pay out a player they are looking to get rid of.