5 former Utah college stars who could be impacted this NFL offseason

Published: Wednesday, Feb. 13 2013 4:37 p.m. MST

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Associated Press
Opinions vary widely on where former Utah quarterback Alex Smith will land, after the eight-year NFL veteran suffered a concussion midseason this year and was replaced as the 49ers' starter by Colin Kaepernick.

Smith signed a three-year, $24 million deal last year with San Francisco, and has a second-year base salary of $7.5 million that's guaranteed only if Smith stays on the 49ers' roster through April 1.

With San Francisco making it to the Super Bowl this year, and Kaepernick the team's starter their past 10 games, reports have surfaced that Smith will likely be released or traded by the 49ers.

Three teams with immediate needs at quarterback are Arizona, Kansas City and the New York Jets. Other teams that have popped up in blogs and analysis about Smith's future destination are Cleveland, Jacksonville and Buffalo. Another team with potential interest in the former Ute was Philadelphia, though that interest is likely gone after the Eagles agreed to restructure their contract with Michael Vick earlier this week.

Before the Super Bowl, reports began to surface that new Chiefs head coach Andy Reid was interested in bringing Smith to Kansas City. Smith fits the bill of what Reid is looking for in a quarterback, ESPN's Trent Dilfer told NFL.com.

"I think Andy wants to change a little bit offensively," Dilfer said. "Alex is a guy with a huge capacity (to learn). You can give him a lot and he can handle it. Andy has always been able to get the most out of guys that don't have extreme talent."

In Arizona, Smith would be able to be coached by Bruce Arians, who helped develop Ben Roethlisberger and Andrew Luck. He would also be able to team up with top-flight wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald. Plus, the Cardinals will be looking to find a solution to their NFL-worst 21 interceptions in 2012. Smith has thrown 30 touchdowns to just 10 interceptions the past two seasons.

Former Browns head coach Sam Rutigliano told The Review (Alliance, Ohio) that Cleveland should bring in a third quarterback — in addition to Brandon Weeden and Colt McCoy.

"They should bring in (San Francisco veteran) Alex Smith to provide competition for the position," Rutigliano said.

One thing that has been highlighted amidst all the speculation is the class Smith has shown despite losing his starting job and likely facing starting over with another team.

When pressed to answer during the Super Bowl Media Day the advantages of being released versus being traded, Smith was a consummate professional: "I want to play football but there will be time to think about that stuff when this is done."
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Kaysville, UT

Austin Collie is too fragile to play more than 2 to 3 games a season. Oden does play half the season. lol sometimes.
The Eagles could easily use Alex Smith.... Michael Vick can't finish a season unhurt.

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