So much for San Francisco 49ers general manager Trent Baalke saying last week that the team had not decided whether they will trade quarterback Alex Smith.
Now on Monday, ESPN’s Adam Shefter is reporting that the team is conducting talks to trade Smith and there has been some interest from teams. This includes the Kansas City Chiefs and the Arizona Cardinals but a deal is not in place.
The earliest the 49ers can trade Smith is on March 12 after 4 p.m. ET–the beginning of the league’s new year.
Smith lost his starting role to Colin Kaepernick in November after he suffered a concussion in the Nov. 11 game against the St. Louis Rams. He took the high road as he watched the young player take over his job. By the Super Bowl he admitted how to tough it was to do so.
Prior to his injury, Smith was having a good 2012 season. On Oct. 29 against the Cardinals, he went 26 for 28 passes, three scores and zero picks.
This represented his last start for his team.
A first-round draft pick in 2005, Smith has a career 14,280 passing yards, 81 touchdowns and 63 picks over 80 games.
Where he lands remains to be seen but in addition to Arizona’s interest, the team also appears to like USC quarterback Matt Barkley.
NFL.com reported that rumors have swirling that the team walked away impressed with Barkley. Its analyst Daniel Jeremiah wrote, “This week in Indy always spawns several rumors. One such rumor has the Cardinals being very interested in Barkley. I’ve been told this exact same piece of information from a few different sources. According to one source, the Cardinals were extremely impressed with the USC quarterback during his interview this week.”
This comes as Barkley had to win over teams with his personality since he couldn’t throw at the Combine. He will be ready for the March 27 USC Pro Day.
But perhaps the more interesting content about the player came from an interview with Sports Illustrated’s Peter King.
He reported that Barkley is back to throwing and in the player’s own words, he said, “I’ve definitely gained some zip on the ball. I’m rehabbing really seriously, like guys do after they have Tommy John [elbow surgery], and I believe I’ll be able to throw the ball better than before I was injured. I’ve been able to really refine and improve my throwing motion.”
Barkley added, “My Pro Day will dispel those myths about my arm.”
He will enter the draft confidently and said, “As I start my NFL career, I really want to set the record straight on a few things. People look at me like I’m some Cali boy, but I’m not that way — I don’t even know how to surf. I’m a football junkie. I’m football, 24/7.”
But can he throw? Many look at him based on his junior year stats, which were more impressive than 2012’s. This includes a 10-2 season, 3,528 yards passing yards and a conference record of 39 touchdowns.