On the one hand, who gives a sh*t what they say. But on the other hand, I consume a lot of NFL news and I get sick of seeing 95% of writers in what we might call the "Smith Haters" camp. Here's one recent sarcastic example from ESPN's AFC North blog:
"There's no reason for Chudzinski to deliver a vote of confidence when Weeden hasn't earned it. The Browns are going to have options at quarterback this offseason. They could sign Alex Smith in free agency or trade for Ryan Mallett. OK, I only said there were options. I never said the options were great."
However, in a recent INsider piece, Chris Sprow discussed possible landing spots for Smith and had an outlook similar to some of the more optimistic WZers. Here's his summary of Smith's resume:
"It also means Smith could be cut, but more likely, will be pushed in a trade. And it's actually a good time to trade him. We can call Alex Smith just another Jim Harbaugh creation, but he might be a valuable one, because at the time he was benched he was playing the best football of his life. Smith finished the season with a passer rating of 104.8 which, had it been sustained, would rank behind only Aaron Rodgers and Peyton Manning. Passer rating doesn't paint nearly a complete picture (ask the new breed of read-zone utilized by QBs like Kaepernick, Russell Wilson and Robert Griffin III), but Smith's 2012 QBR ranked seventh and is the best of his career by a mile. He was making better decisions than he ever has, throwing TD passes at a higher rate than he ever has, and driving the ball down the field more often and successfully than he ever has. He helped guide the Niners to the NFC Championship Game last season (exactly where CK has them this season) and was mere bad fumble luck from starting a Super Bowl."
His top five teams who should consider Smith are not surprising: Philadelphia, Cleveland, Jacksonville, Kansas City, and Arizona. Tennessee and New York are mentioned as wild cards. Throughout the piece, he points out Smith would be a pretty clear upgrade (both in terms of present consistency and
upside) over guys like Foles, Weeden, Gabbert, Henne, Kolb, and this year's draft crop.
To us, that may seem obvious, but I found it refreshing to read an outsider who is actually able to evaluate Smith objectively without the taint of his former "Bust" label. As for what Smith might command in a trade, he offers at least one hint of his opinion when discussing the Chiefs:
"Or they could use a couple of picks
to land Smith, and immediately be pegged as one of the turnaround favorites for 2013."
[ Edited by LieutKaffee on Jan 27, 2013 at 00:11:00 ]