Coach Harbaugh happy with quarterback options at 49ers.
San Francisco 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh says that his team are ‘unlikely’ to release quarter-back Alex Smith this off-season, but it is a possibility.
Smith lost his place to Colin Kaepernick this past season, who went on to lead the 49ers to the Super Bowl after a stellar play-off campaign.
His performances have thus led to speculation over Smith’s future, but Harbaugh backed Smith on Friday at the NFL Scouting Combine.
“He’s an excellent football player,” he said according to NFL.com. “He’s really playing the best football of his career the last two years. We think we’ve got the best quarterback situation in the NFL. We feel strongly about that.”
“Again, that will be a process that plays out, I mean Alex Smith continuing to be a 49er, or if a trade occurs in the next weeks or months, those are the two most likely possibilities,” he added.
It is widely thought that the only way Smith will remain with the 49ers is if no suitable trade deal arises, but with so many teams searching for a quarterback this off-season, Smith may still find himself on his way out.
Kaepernick recently returned to training despite only having a week off for vacation, both he and Harbaugh along with the rest of the 49ers franchise will be focused on going one further in the new season after the heartbreak of New Orleans.
The emergence of Kaepernick means Smith will also likely be searching for a switch, with no guarantees of being a starter and potentially being one of the most expensive back-up quarterbacks in the league, a trade may well be the most likely outcome.