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I hesitate to write this, because over the weekend this trade was effectively done, and then it wasn’t done, and then it didn’t exist. But now we have a much stronger word being used by Jay Glazer.

I like this word “completed” much better.

 

Oh but wait, it gets so much better/worse fast, depending on your fan affiliation.

My first response to this trade was the same as my second and eighth responses: WHAAAAAAA?

At best Smith is worthy of a fourth-round pick. As in one fourth-round pick. Singular.

Now, San Francisco’s haul is just a little more than that. Here’s the reported framework from Tim Kawakami of the San Jose Mercury News:

The 49ers receive Kansas City’s second-round pick this year (34thd overall) and a high-round pick in 2014, believed to be no lower than a third-rounder with the possibility of moving up into the second round.

Kawakami also speculates that the condition and therefore the value of that pick in 2014 will hinge on both the Chiefs’ success or lack thereof next year, and Smith’s playing time. But if the early reports are true, then it’s quite possible that San Francisco could cash in Smith, and get two second-round picks.

Let that sink in for a second. A team that came four points away from winning the Super Bowl could have four picks in the first two rounds over the next two years. In April they own the 30th and 34th overall picks, and due to previous trades the 49ers also now have 15 picks in this year’s draft, which provides a lot of leverage to land a certain Jets cornerback who generally hates life in his current situation. Just sayin’.

Before we go too much further with rippage, let’s be clear with one fact that we’ve written repeatedly while assessing Alex Smith’s fit in Kansas City. If we assume that an old dog doesn’t change his old dog ways, Smith is perfect for Andy Reid’s offense, with his accuracy on short throws, minimal interceptions (only 10 over the past two seasons), and high passer rating (104.1 this past season) ideal in a system that doesn’t lean on its quarterback heavily to stretch the field.

As we’ve seen over the past two years in San Francisco, Smith’s skillset is suited for an environment where he receives optimum backfield support, and he’s surrounded by possession receivers. That will happen in KC, with a much younger and much faster Jamaal Charles matching the running abilities of Frank Gore and Kendall Hunter/LaMichael James, while when Dwayne Bowe is now inevitably franchised he’ll be that possession option.

The problem is that Bowe surely wants to be much more than that, and now all of his hope in life has been viciously killed. Smith’s accuracy and his 70.2 completion percentage is largely tied to Jim Harbaugh’s knowledge of his quarterback’s limitations, and an emphasis on short to intermediate passes. Last year, only 9.2 percent of Smith’s 445 completions ended in gains of 20 yards or more.

But back to the price paid by Kansas City, and its lunacy. If we remove our focus from just what Smith was able to do under one system and under one head coach after seemingly being destined for bust town, then we see a quarterback who’s averaged less than 200 passing yards per game during five of his seven seasons, including each of the last two. He’s also a quarterback who was fighting with Troy Smith for playing time prior to be reborn under Harbaugh. Yeah, that happened

He’s not worth one second rounder, and he’s definitely not worth possibly two. But when some sober thought sets in after the initial shock of the Niners’ haul, we’ll realize that maybe this trade shouldn’t have been surprising. As so many others noted while watching the meh performances of Geno Smith, Mike Glennon, and Tyler Wilson at the Combine, the value of Smith and Matt Flynn increased dramatically over the weekend, with teams like the Chiefs, Cardinals, and Bills seeing that unlike a year ago, their eternal quarterback problems likely can’t be solved immediately this April.

The Niners and general manager Trent Baalke cashed in quickly, recognizing a hungry quarterback market less than a day after the Combine’s conclusion. Your turn to do something stupid, Cardinals.