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“I have no tattoos, Colin, and therefore I am a CEO”

Alex Smith will be traded, and he’ll be playing football somewhere that isn’t San Francisco next year. This much we can say with confidence. Maybe.

Over the weekend there was just as much confidence percolating about a deal which was “effectively done” even though said deal may never be done. The smokescreen fire still burns strong.

Now to the surprise of absolutely no one, people in Arizona who know things about the Cardinals are saying that football team is doing the required Smith tiring kicking. Wheee.

From Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic:

The Cardinals are exploring the possibility of trading for 49ers quarterback Alex Smith, according to an NFL source, but no deal is in place.

It’s unknown how serious the Cardinals are about trading for a quarterback for the second time in less than two years. But they are intrigued by Smith’s experience, intelligence and talents, according to the source. They believe much of his struggles early in his career can be attributed to changes in coaches and offensive systems.

The Cardinals are looking into all options to improve production at the position. That includes bringing back Kevin Kolb at a reduced salary. It’s unknown if those discussions have started. They also are likely to draft a quarterback in the first three rounds.

So to review: they’re thinking about trading for Smith but not very seriously yet, and regardless they’ll likely invest a high draft pick in the quarterback position. In short, you suck Kevin Kolb.

The Cardinals are likely hesitant to invest highly in another recycled quarterback who may or may not be successful with a head coach who isn’t named Jim Harbaugh. There’s probably some credence to their reported belief that earlier in his career Smith’s development was slowed by an unstable franchise and constantly changing offenses, but trusting that belief too deeply could lead to poor returns.

There’s no doubt the Cards need Smith, or any competent quarterback. But as awful as he’s been in the past, we can legitimately wonder if the Cardinals could be competitive with a healthy Kolb as he does his best Smith imitation and game managing act, and he’s then propped up by one of the league’s best defenses. That’s what he did throughout the first four games of this past season when Arizona was undefeated.

Well, it was really three for Kolb, or at least three complete games after he replaced an injured John Skelton late in an eventual Week 1 win over Seattle, completing six of his eight pass attempts, including the game-winning touchdown pass. Then there was a win over New England the following week, and when Kolb was called upon to throw often against Miami in Week 4 (48 attempts) he finished with 324 passing yards and two interceptions, but also three touchdowns.

The decision before the Cardinals then is to either trust that Kolb’s small sample size of OK-ness early last year can be massaged this offseason and coaxed to return, or rely on a quarterback who’s had success with only one head coach under one system to be their savior. Smith feels like the safer play, but a franchise that’s familiar with difficult decisions at the post important offensive position can easily whiff again this offseason, lining up more years of mediocrity in the desert.

God help us all.