With Colin Kaepernick looking like the 49ers’ starter for some time, the common assumption has been that San Francisco will look to trade away backup Alex Smith. The veteran, who was picked No. 1 in the draft in 2005 but didn’t have success as a starter until recently, wouldn’t be of much use if the job is Kaepernick’s for good.
Adding to that assumption is that Smith has said he wants to be a starter, especially considering what he went through in fighting for the job in San Francisco. He reportedly will ask for a release or trade after this season ends.
But there’s at least one person who thinks that everybody can all get along on one team.
“I hope he’s with us,” 49ers CEO Jed York said of Smith, according to Pro Football Talk. “From a cap standpoint, we have the room to be able to keep him. One quarterback is usually not enough to get you through a season. And to have two guys, which the Niners had in Steve [Young] and Joe [Montana] for a long time, there’s no reason why you can’t have two guys on your team. And I hope we can find a way to make that happen.”
York said Smith hasn’t asked for a release, but if he does, the team will talk about it after the season.
“He’s been very professional throughout this whole thing,” he said. “And he’s still a captain of the 49ers. And I think Alex deserves the opportunity [to] figure out what he wants to do at the end of the season.”
While York may be a bit optimistic about his quarterback tandem — Young and Montana didn’t exactly love sharing the job — he can be praised for knowing a good thing when he has it. Most other teams don’t have one quarterback they can trust, and the 49ers could end up being the only team with two.
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