ARIZONA CARDINALS

Clayton: Alex Smith could make a ‘beeline to Arizona’ if released by SF

Feb 7, 2013, 10:20 PM | Updated: 10:40 pm

LISTEN: John Clayton, NFL Insider

It’s now the second-longest running plot line in Arizona sports — the Cardinals and their search for a quarterback to at least somewhat capably fill the shoes of Kurt Warner.

It’s been three seasons since Warner retired from the NFL, and though they’ve tried six different players in the role, most believe the Cardinals are still looking that guy.

The 2013 NFL Draft is deep with names, but probably lacks a franchise-type quarterback that can fill the position for years to come.

That leaves free agency as the number-one option for the Cardinals in their search this offseason.

One of the more intriguing players who could become available is San Francisco’s Alex Smith. The seven-year veteran lost his starting job to Colin Kaepernick, who helped lead the 49ers to their first Super Bowl appearance in 18 years and is clearly the quarterback of the future for their franchise. San Francisco has said they’ll try to trade Smith rather than just release him and his $7.5 million salary (and $9.75 million cap hit) for 2013. They’ve also stated that if they can’t trade Smith, they’ll simply keep him — which most believe is just posturing.

ESPN NFL insider John Clayton joined Doug and Wolf on Arizona Sports 620 Thursday, and said he believes the 49ers have a plan in place for Smith.

“Oh, they’re bluffing in that way because they’re trying to get trade value and in some ways, they need to get trade value because I would have to think that if he’s released, he’ll make a beeline to Arizona and compete against the 49ers two times a year for the next several years,” Clayton said.

Smith was the first overall pick of the 2005 draft by the 49ers, and struggled for his first five years in the league. But under the tutelage of head coach Jim Harbaugh, who took over the Niners in 2011, Smith has improved greatly. The former Utah QB has thrown for 4,881 yards and 30 touchdowns with only 10 interceptions over the last two years while racking up a 19-5-1 record as a starter.

“Knowing that the 49ers probably don’t want (Smith to go to a division foe), the best thing to do is hang on to him and see if you can trade him to an AFC team, maybe the Cleveland Browns — I think the Browns would be the most interested,” Clayton said.

Comments

Comment guidelines: No name-calling, personal attacks, profanity, or insults. Please keep the conversation civil and help us moderate comments by reporting abuse.
comments powered by Disqus

Arizona Cardinals

Marvin Harrison Jr. catches a pass during Cardinals rookie minicamp...

Tyler Drake

Arizona Cardinals sign Marvin Harrison Jr. to 4-year contract

The Cardinals signed rookie wide receiver Marvin Harrison Jr. to a four-year contract that includes a fifth-year option on Thursday.

15 minutes ago

BJ Ojulari at OTAs...

Tyler Drake

Growth of Arizona Cardinals’ BJ Ojulari, Garrett Williams on display at OTAs

Second-year pros BJ Ojulari and Garrett Williams could be competing for significant roles for the Arizona Cardinals this offseason.

1 hour ago

Cardinals leadership and mental health awareness discussion...

Tyler Drake

Leading the right way: Cardinals, Jonathan Gannon host high school coaches for panel on uplifting athletes

A handful of Arizona Cardinals made time out of their day to discuss the value of the leadership with local high school coaches on Tuesday.

6 hours ago

Kyler Murray #1 of the Arizona Cardinals reacts after the game against the Philadelphia Eagles at L...

Character Counts

Kyler Murray makes championship match of charity chess tournament

Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray doesn't mind some chess in his spare time and he elevated that hobby on Wednesday.

16 hours ago

...

Arizona Sports Video

Video: Has Kyler Murray checked all the boxes as an elite NFL QB?

It's a big season for Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray. Burns & Gambo wonder if all the offseason work the QB's put in will help him take his game to the next level.

22 hours ago

...

Arizona Sports Video

Video: Cardinals’ Sean Murphy-Bunting shares what it takes to be an NFL cornerback

Cardinals cornerback Sean Murphy-Bunting joined Wolf & Luke during OTAs to talk about Arizona's cornerbacks room, what it takes to play the position in the NFL and recounts the first time he met head coach Jonathan Gannon.

23 hours ago

Clayton: Alex Smith could make a ‘beeline to Arizona’ if released by SF