Chiefs to Ex-Niner QB Smith: Please Don't Be a Glitch in the Matrix
So this is the déja vu deal.
We all know San Francisco has traded a quarterback to Kansas City before.
When Joe Montana went to Kansas City, it was because of Steve Young, a young, accurate, and mobile QB whose only real success as a pro up to that time was a killer contract with the LA Express of the USFL. Young was performing with much promise, and starting even though Montana -- an injured QB who was playing at an all-star level before his injury and despite his age -- was still available.
The move was not popular among the fans, to say the least, but it made sense. Montana was not the future and not the best option vis-à-vis Young.
Does this sound familiar?
Alex Smith was playing very well. He was one of the main reasons for the 49ers' rising fortunes the season before. And Smith was still a main reason San Francisco kept riding high, right up until he was injured. Smith may have been putting together a great year before he got hurt, but no one with the possible exception of Jim Harbaugh expected The Kaptain, Colin Kaepernick, to pick up the baton and bust out with an MVP-like season.
Kaepernick makes the Niners a favorite for a return engagement to the Super Bowl next year. Alex Smith, however, goes to a Kansas City team that looks to continue its downward slide. Many believed Smith underacheieved in his time with the 49ers prior to the arrival of Harbaugh. It remains to be seen how he fares without that intense guidance.
So, will he be worth what the Chiefs gave up for him in a second-round pick this year and a similar pick next year?
OK, that's a rhetorical question.
To me, the trade massively helps both teams. The 49ers got additional picks to better reload in the near future. The Chiefs got a legendary quarterback who could still produce in the twilight of his career, which provided immediate returns. Kansas City put together playoff runs in both seasons that Joe Montana called the shots, with major contributions from Marcus Allen. San Francisco then won a Super Bowl shortly thereafter with Young at the helm.
From both clubs' perspective, it was a win-win transaction.
The pressure won't necessarily be on Smith to get the Chiefs to the post-season. Not at first, anyway. He just has to show new coach Andy Reid he's an elite quarterback in his own right and hold the offense together until the front office finds more weapons.
Only then will Kansas City be able to complete the déja vu and claim its half of a win-win deal.