by Mike Freeman - cbssportsline.com
What happened in the NFL on a quiet Wednesday afternoon was something extremely rare: A trade was made in the NFL and everyone involved in the trade won. Yes, everyone.
The Chiefs win. They get Alex Smith, who despite limited arm strength and a rocky career has rebounded to where he's one of the more solid throwers in football. Smith is 20-8-1 (including the playoffs) the past two years.
The 49ers win. They will get, at least, a reported second-round pick in 2013. They have their quarterback of the future in Colin Kaepernick and now get two high picks for Smith. Those picks are gold.
Alex Smith wins. He gets to be a starter. He's rewarded for being a class act. Kaepernick wins. It's his team now. Andy Reid, coach of the Chiefs, also wins. He gets his starter to build the offense around.
See what I mean?
Sure, you can poke holes in some of the trade, or all of this, but you'd be pushing it. Smith is still relatively young, he's smart and adaptable. He's perfect for Reid's system, particularly since Reid doesn't have his pass throwers toss deep balls. His system values short-range accuracy and Smith can do that.
Smith isn't a stopgap. He can play another five years, minimum, at a top level.
This approach for Reid is far smarter than going through the draft. Who would you rather have? Matt Barkley or Alex Smith? I'll take Smith. Every personnel evaluator would take Smith for what could end up being two second-rounders.
NFL history is riddled with the carcasses of high draft picks who have gone on to be busts. Go down the list: David Carr, Todd Marinovich, JaMarcus Russell, Tim Couch, Dave Brown, Joey Harrington, Cade McNown, Akili Smith, Andre Ware, Rick Mirer and, maybe the biggest quarterback bust of all time, Ryan Leaf.
On and on it goes.
You get the proven commodity. That's it. That's all. Especially if that commodity has proven to be good.
So, for one of the first times ever, in an NFL trade: