Originally posted by MadDog49er:
As for the leverage with Smith, I think a number of teams will make a run at Smith this offseason if the Niners do not make a serious push. It will then become a bidding war. In the end, I believe the agent will be pretty clear about numbers up front with the organization, and the contract will be signed to the tune of 5 years, for $49 million. So, in the end, as an unrestricted free agent, with bidders out there, Smith really holds all the cards.
Which teams, exactly are making a run at Smith? Of all the teams in the NFL, here are the only teams I could even conceive of wanting to get in a "bidding war" for Alex Smith. Seattle, Cleveland, Kansas City, Miami, NYJ, Buffalo, Washington.
Buffalo just signed Fitzpatrick to a big deal, Im not sure they'll cut the cord just yet, and even if they did, there's no way Buffalo is going to sign Alex Smith to a monster deal, after they just got f**ked by Fitzpatrick. Plus, Buffalo is just a s**tty free agent destination.
NYJ have no cap space for signing Smith to a big contract. And I'm not sure they'd be convinced Alex Smith is noticeably better than Mark Sanchez, in whom they've invested a lot of draft capital and $$.
KC still has Matt Cassel... I don't think they'd cut the cord with Cassel with teh money/picks they've invested, especially given that Cassel was similar to Smith in having one pretty good year. Also, Scott Pioli really likes his own guys/building through the draft, so it's unlikely they'd sign a big FA like Smith.
Cleveland will likely draft RGIII, but if they don't they're still in the same boat as Buffalo as a s**tty franchise/location, so they're already at a disadvantage. Smith also doesn't seem like a good fit for the WC offense that they operate there, but hey, who knows, maybe they'll go after him hard.
So really, as far as potential destinations, we're left with Seattle, Washington, Cleveland, and Miami. One of those teams will get RGIII.
So 3 of those teams are the only legitimate possibilities. And of those, how many would actually be interested in signing a FA QB, especially one that has only had one good full season, that didn't exactly have high yardage/TD numbers? And furthermore, how many of those teams would want to take a 5 yr/50 million dollar risk on a guy with as poor of a reputation as Smith? (despite his recent success).
I'm going to guess that there won't be an especially lucrative market for Smith, nor will there be some absurd bidding war. It does only take one team to offer Smith a boatload, but I'm not seeing the 5 years/50 million deal as especially likely, as you predict.