Originally posted by MadDog49er:
That is right in the neighborhood of the numbers he will be offered if his play continues to be strong. A minimum five years will be offered by another squad, so the team is not going to retain him for a 1, 2, 3, or probably 4 years contract. There are still too many QB-starved teams in the league, and not enough top-level entry QB's coming out of college and free agents to meet the demand. These teams need help, badly:
5) KC (Denver and KC combined for a total of 162 passing yards on Sunday)
I don't think teams like Denver, Indy, Seattle, KC will be looking for a QB like Smith. They'll find their solutions in the draft... I think a lot of Alex Smith's success is attributed to Jim Harbaugh. With questions about whether he can thrive outside of Harbaugh's system (which also produced Josh Johnson and Andrew Luck), it's not clear to me why those aforementioned teams would offer a 50+ million contract when they can have a rookie with (theoretically) higher upside, no baggage, a fresh face for the franchise, and for far less money. Indy also has Manning/No. 1 pick, no way Indy signs Smith.
Furthermore, with the recent successes of rookie QBs, teams likely don't see a need for a stopgap starter to develop their rookie on the bench. They'd prefer to save the money and give the experience to the rookie by throwing him to the fire, a la Dalton, Newton, and to a lesser extent, Ponder.
I'm not sure Smith's value is any higher than Cassel's was coming out as a FA. Cassel also led a winning, playoff caliber team, but did so without all the baggage of previous injury and poor play... he succeedd in his first year as a starter, leading many to believe he had even greater upside to justify that contract. Smith's reputation around the league isn't that high as far as his ability to lead a winning team. Therefore, I don't think KC would target Smith, nor would a team offer a Cassel-like contract.
I could in theory see Washington and Miami because they might not be in position to draft a top-tier signal caller, and their QB situation is horrendous. But their FO and team situations are also terrible, and if SF offers a contract close those competing ones, SF will win out - I think Harbaugh has earned Smith's trust and loyalty.
The other thing to consider is that if Smith wins the Super Bowl, all hell breaks loose from a money standpoint (let us pray this happens)