Alex SmithWith Colin Kaepernick taking over the starting reins for the 49ers this season, Alex Smith has been relegated to clipboard duty.

Despite leading his team to the NFC championship game last season and having one of the best seasons of his career in 2012, the former No. 1 draft pick is stuck watching from the sideline while Kaepernick has electrified the Niners faithful.

While the trade deadline has come and gone this NFL season, it’s never too early to look ahead to what it sure to be a busy offseason for many teams. With Smith seemingly an expendable piece in San Fran, it’s more likely than not that the 49ers find a willing trade partner for their quarterback.

While there is certainly more to an NFL squad than just a quarterback, it’s obvious when a team doesn’t have the right one that will allow them to compete for a Super Bowl. With that in mind, Smith will be a hot commodity next offseason with no shortage of teams in need of a proven signal-caller.

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Thumbnail photo via Facebook/San Francisco 49ers