Alex Smith reportedly liked by Arizona Cardinals

Published: Thursday, Feb. 21 2013 12:20 p.m. MST

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Alex Smith (11) scrambles away from Houston Texans outside linebacker Connor Barwin in the second quarter of an NFL preseason game Saturday, Aug. 18, 2012, in Houston.

Associated Press

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Our take: The future of 49ers backup quarterback Alex Smith is one of the hottest topics around the NFL right now, even at this weekend's scouting combine. Just days ago, reports surfaced that the Chiefs, who own the No. 1 pick in this year's NFL Draft, were interested in trading with San Francisco for Smith. Now, with general managers and coaches descending on Indianapolis for the combine, it appears an NFC West rival of the 49ers, the Arizona Cardinals, is also interested in bringing in the former Utah star to compete for its starting quarterback spot.

San Francisco 49ers general manager Trent Baalke acknowledged Thursday that Alex Smith will likely be shopped this offseason.

The Arizona Cardinals are emerging as one team interested in acquiring the 49ers' backup quarterback.

According to the Arizona Republic, there are decision-makers within the organization who are high on Smith. While Smith could "make a beeline to Arizona" if released, beat writer Kent Somers doubts the Cardinals will actively pursue a trade. Perhaps the Kevin Kolb debacle left a bad taste in the organization's mouth.

Read more about Alex Smith on NFL.com.

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