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Alex Smith’s Chance at Revenge in San Francisco

Alex Smith has a chance at revenge as he gets set to take on his old team in San Francisco.

Mark Gunnels

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Typically when two teams make a trade, we often see one team come out better than the other. That wasn’t the case with the Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers.

About a year and a half ago, San Francisco shipped Alex Smith to Kansas City for multiple draft picks. The decision was made after Colin Kaepernick led the Niners to the Super Bowl, before coming up short against the Baltimore Ravens. At the time, many thought Kaepernick would take off and end up being much better than Smith. Up unto this point, both quarterbacks have been fairly equal.

49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh thought the trade was good for both teams from the beginning.

“This is a deal that will surely be beneficial to all parties,” Harbaugh explained. “Alex gets a fresh start, and the Chiefs add stability at the quarterback position. In exchange, we get the first pick of the draft’s 2nd round this year, as well as the Chiefs’ 2nd rounder in 2014.”

There’s no doubt Chiefs head coach Andy Reid is thrilled as well.

“We wanted to do whatever it took to make Alex a Chief, and we feel we’re adding a heck of a player,” said Kansas City coach Andy Reid, while wearing a dunce cap. “We couldn’t be happier with the terms of the deal.”

Last season, Kaepernick threw for 3,197 yards, 21 touchdowns and 8 interceptions. While Smith tossed for 3,313 yards, 23 touchdowns and 7 interceptions.

Not only were their numbers nearly identical, both of their teams suffered heartbreaking defeats in the playoffs. San Francisco lost to their bitter rivals the Seattle Seahawks 23-17 in the NFC Championship Game, while Kansas City had one of the biggest choke jobs in playoff history. The Chiefs blew a 28-point lead against Andrew Luck and his Colts in the divisional round, which was the second-largest comeback in playoff history.

When San Francisco made the move to deal Smith, the logic was that Kaepernick does everything Smith can do, but he’s four years younger at 26. It wasn’t to say Smith couldn’t play, the 49ers were just looking to move in a new direction, which turned out to be a blessing for Kansas City.

Smith isn’t the greatest quarterback in the world, but he’s a major upgrade from Matt Cassel. One thing the Chiefs had issues with from their quarterback position was turnovers. Smith has only thrown 10 interceptions in 636 pass attempts while in Kansas City. He isn’t going to win you many games, but he won’t lose you many either.

Thus far, both teams are 2-2, which makes this contest that much more important. As time moves on, we’ll be able to get a better judgment on who was the winner of this trade.

Right now it’s too early to tell.

Mark Gunnels is an NFL columnist for Football Insiders. He has several years of experience covering the NFL and NCAA football. He's the radio color commentator for Lincoln University football. Mark's work has been featured on Sports Illustrated, Fox Sports and Yard Barker.

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