Profootballtalk's Mike Florio reported Sunday night that Alex Smith will likely ask the 49ers to release him after the Super Bowl in order to have "maximum" options on his next team.
The 49ers don't have to oblige, of course. Smith has trade value, and the 49ers won't honor his request if it doesn't help their team. Getting back a draft pick would. If the Niners were to grant Smith's release before March 14, they'd owe him only a $1 million roster bonus for 2013. If traded, San Francisco would be off the hook for all of Smith's $8.5 million in salary and bonuses.