49ers ponder future of quarterback Alex Smith, wideout Randy Moss
Indianapolis, IN, United States (4E Sports) – San Francisco 49ers general manager Trent Baalke is discussing with Alex Smith the quarterback’s future with the team.
Baalke had dinner with Smith and the signal-caller’s wife, Liz, to get an understanding of what direction they wanted to go with the emergence of Colin Kaepernick as the team’s No. 1 quarterback.
“Are we going to trade him for sure? No, that hasn’t been decided,” said Baalke.
49ers coach Jim Harbaugh said that it is “unlikely,” that the team would choose to release Smith should a suitable trading partner not be found.
With Kaepernick playing so well after he took over as starter from Smith last Nov. 11, 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh never put Smith back into the starting lineup, even though Smith was among the league’s leading passers at the time. Kaepernick was stellar in leading the team to the Super Bowl, however.
Smith, who is heading into his ninth season, is due $8.5 million in 2013, including $6.5 million guaranteed if he remains on the San Francisco’s roster after April 1.
He could be viewed as a viable trade option for quarterback-starved teams like the Kansas City Chiefs, Arizona Cardinals, Oakland Raiders, Buffalo Bills and New York Jets.
However, 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh “definitely” wants Randy Moss to return for another season in San Francisco. But Baalke said no decision has been made about the 36-year-old wide receiver.
“Is he going to return this year? I don’t know that yet,” said Baalke.
While lauded by teammates and coaches for his leadership, Moss had only 28 catches for 434 yards and three touchdowns. His status probably will be affected by the return of wide receiver Mario Manningham from a knee injury and the maturation of A.J. Jenkins.