49ers undecided on futures of Alex Smith, Randy Moss
San Francisco 49ers GM Trent Baalke refused to tip his hand regarding the futures of either Alex Smith or Randy Moss during a press conference at the NFL scouting combine Thursday.
All signs point to Smith playing elsewhere in 2013, with Colin Kaepernick emerging as the 49ers’ unquestioned starting quarterback during a Super Bowl run and Smith due $7.5 million (plus a $1 million roster bonus). If San Francisco cannot find a trade partner, Smith could wind up being released.
But Baalke said that, for now, everything is on the table, including Smith’s return.
“We’re going to look at all options available,” said Baalke of Smith, who posted a 6-2-1 record in 2012 before a concussion sidelined him. “Are we going to trade him for sure? No, that hasn’t been decided.”
The 49ers face a less complicated scenario with Moss. The 36-year-old receiver is set to be an unrestricted free agent, and he said during one of the pre-Super Bowl media swarms that he did not necessarily like his role in the 49ers’ offense — Moss made 28 catches for 434 yards and three touchdowns during the regular season.
Moss re-signing in San Francisco, then, does not appear to be a priority, especially with 49ers’ 2012 first-round pick A.J. Jenkins trying to carve out some playing time of his own.
“Randy’s a pro, and I can’t say enough good things about Randy,” Baalke said. “And I think if you ask anyone within our organization, they would say the same thing. …
“So, we’re certainly happy that he was there. Is he going to return this year? I don’t know that yet.”
The 49ers entered the offseason an estimated $1.0 million over the projected salary cap, according to NFL.com. They have several pending free agents, aside from Moss, including safety Dashon Goldson, nose tackle Isaac Sopoaga and fullback/tight end Delanie Walker.
Dealing or cutting Smith would provide the 49ers a lot more flexibility in their decisions moving forward. That would, however, likely put the 49ers in the market for a backup QB behind Kaepernick — Scott Tolzien served as San Francisco’s No. 3 quarterback in 2012.
The 49ers figure to scout Smith’s potential trade market during the combine, given that Smith’s roster bonus is scheduled to kick in on March 14. Ideally, San Francisco would like to have a firm answer on Smith’s future in place prior to that date, so as to avoid paying that bonus to a player destined to be released.