The NFL's trading period doesn't open until March 12 when free agency begins but already the trade rumors are flying. Alex Smith is due over $8 million next season and with the San Francisco 49ers having Colin Kaepernick in place the thought is that Smith will be traded. And the Kansas City Chiefs are said to be interested. Which brings us to these rumors from Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com:
The 49ers have expressed to others that a deal for QB Alex Smith is effectively complete. Can't be finalized til league year begins 3/12— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) February 24, 2013
so it's not official, both clubs view it at as it's effectively done. I do not know the other team. KC and JAX are 2 teams that make sense— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) February 24, 2013
I'm all for a good rumor but something smells fishy here. I'm not saying the Chiefs aren't interested but this report seems to be about two steps ahead of itself.
The trading period isn't open for two more weeks, which should create the biggest alarm for you. When was the last time a trade was done weeks in advance AND someone accurately reported on that? Not very often.
There is no team name attached to the report, which is a clue that this is being done to create some buzz. Not attaching the names is a sign to me that leaking word of this is a strategic move by someone to get that information out there. But by who and why? We can't understand the veracity of the rumor until we know those questions. It could be the 49ers, who have a vested interest in getting the best possible deal for Smith, or it could be Smith's agent, who has a vested interest in a trade so that Smith keeps his $8+ million in 2013.
The report also states that it's the 49ers who are telling teams that the Alex Smith deal is "effectively complete". Why would the 49ers say that? To create the impression that a deal is done so other teams who may or may not be desperate start making an offer on Smith.
Which is a hint that a deal probably isn't "effectively complete."
This is minor but another inconsistency is that La Canfora states that "both teams" view the deal as "effectively complete' and in the next sentence he says he doesn't know who the other team is. If you don't know who the other team is, how can we know if it's legit? We can't. We're taking the word of one source who has motivation to bend the truth.
Trace this back a little a couple of days with me.
Remember when Jason Cole of Yahoo! Sports reported that the Chiefs were the "most interested" team in Smith? And then Ian Rapoport said basically the same thing, that the Chiefs have "shown more interest than anyone else"? And now this?
Is it all a coincidence? Whoever is running the Alex Smith rumor mill is doing a masterful job.
By the way, whatever happened to Nick Foles? Just this weekend, the Chiefs were interested in trading for him and had approached the Eagles about that. You know, before they wrapped up the Alex Smith deal two weeks early.
Remember the NFL lockout and how nothing got done until there was a deadline attached to it? It's the same idea here. You're going to hear a lot of bullshit rumors, and we'll talk about them all, but I'm not taking them too seriously until we start to hit March 12. Hard to trust the word of folks who have financial motivation to lie.
I'm not saying this won't happen. Not at all. I'm just trying to break down the game that's being played ... because that's all it is right now.