With Colin Kaepernick entrenched as the 49ers starting quarterback, it seems like the Alex Smith era could be coming to a close in San Francisco. And if Smith is released in the off-season, look for this weekend's opponent, the Arizona Cardinals, to try and sign him.
The Cardinals are in the midst of an awful season which has seen them lose 10 of their last 11 games, after starting out 4-0. Arizona's quarterback play in specific has been especially bad, with four different players taking snaps under center. Brian Hoyer replaced Ryan Lindley last weekend, and Kevin Kolb and John Skelton have also started games for Arizona.
With that much instability at quarterback it also makes Arizona a logical landing spot if the 49ers let him go in the off-season. Smith has been solid in 2013, with 13 touchdowns to go with nine interceptions, and currently leads the NFL with a 70 percent completion percentage.
At the same time, he doesn't appear to be in Jim Harbaugh's long-term plans in San Francisco either.
Kaepernick has started each of the last five games for the 49ers, while Smith has only seen action in one game since the start of November.
On the season, Kaepernick has completed 63 percent of his passes, and thrown for eight touchdowns while rushing for an additional five.