The San Francisco 49ers traded quarterback Alex Smith to the Kansas City Chiefs on Wednesday for two draft picks.
According to ESPN, Kansas City will give San Francisco its second-round pick in the 2013 draft (the No. 34 overall pick) in addition to a conditional mid-round pick in the 2014 draft.
In addition, the Chiefs are expected to release quarterback Matt Cassel, who had been Carson Palmer’s backup at USC and Tom Brady’s in New England before getting a six-year $63 million contract from Kansas City.
Smith led San Francisco to the NFC title game last year, but Colin Kaepernick replaced him in the middle of the season after Smith left a game with a concussion on Nov. 11 against the St. Louis Rams.
Kaepernick, running the read-option offense from the pistol formation, promptly led San Francisco to the Super Bowl, where they lost to the Baltimore Ravens 34-31. Kaepernick’s emergence as one of the league’s top quarterbacks made Smith expendable.
Smith was the top draft pick in the 2005 draft out of Utah. He had largely underperformed until San Francisco head coach Jim Harbaugh took over.
Kansas City has the top pick in this year’s draft but were compelled to trade for Smith because this draft lacks a franchise-type quarterback who would be worthy of being drafted with the top pick.