Alex Smith quietly stayed behind the scenes after losing his job and watched from the sideline as San Francisco returned to the Super Bowl for the first time in 18 years. Yet the No. 1 overall draft pick from 2005 did make one thing known: The veteran quarterback still considers himself a starter.
And he hoped to get that chance again. Now, he appears to have it.
The Kansas City Chiefs have agreed to acquire Smith from the 49ers in the first major acquisition since Andy Reid took over as the team’s new coach in early January, a person with knowledge of the trade said Wednesday.
The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the deal cannot become official until March 12, when the NFL’s new business year begins. Another person familiar with the swap said the 49ers will get a second-round pick in April’s draft, No. 34 overall, and a conditional pick in the 2014 draft.
After spending his first eight up-and-down years with the 49ers, Smith will get a new start. The Chiefs will get the proven play-caller they hope can help turn things around under a new coach much the way Smith did under Jim Harbaugh in San Francisco.
With Smith now headed for Kansas City, former Patriot Matt Cassel is likely headed out of town.
Suggs: Everybody hates Patriots
Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs has not changed his feelings about the Patriots. Not one bit. Suggs “guarantees the other 31 teams hate the New England Patriots,’’ he said on WEEI Wednesday.
Suggs has been as gracious a winner as he has been a loser, expounding on comments he made after the Ravens defeated the Patriots in last season’s AFC Championship, calling the Patriots “the most arrogant [expletive] in the world.’’ He also told the Patriots to have fun in the Pro Bowl.
“Do I apologize for what I said? No. Do I mean what I said? Yeah,” Suggs said. “Could I have worded it a little better? Probably. But the fact of the matter is you can’t really consider it a rivalry because you have a few more championships than we do, but this has been steaming for a while.”
Bills’ Kelsay retiring
Bills defensive end Chris Kelsay told general manager Buddy Nix he plans to retire after 10 seasons in Buffalo, the team announced.
The decision came as a slight surprise. Earlier this month, Kelsay indicated he was preparing to play next season after Bills doctors had cleared him for practice. Kelsay finished last season on injured reserve after tearing a ligament in his neck.
Kelsay’s status in Buffalo was uncertain entering this season under new coach Doug Marrone. Buffalo’s defense is in transition under new coordinator Mike Pettine.
The NFL says it will look into whether questions asked of Colorado tight end Nick Kasa at the Scouting Combine violated any laws or league policies banning employers from inquiring about a possible employee’s sexual orientation.
Kasa told ESPN Radio in Denver that during interviews with team officials at the combine in Indianapolis: ‘‘[Teams] ask you, like, ‘Do you have a girlfriend?’ ‘Are you married?’ ‘Do you like girls?’ ’’
He did not identify who asked him such questions.
Giants’ Beatty gets new deal
The Giants agreed to a five-year deal with left tackle Will Beatty, who could have become a free agent. Beatty is entering his fifth season with the team. He played in all 16 games last season after missing much of training camp with a sore back. Beatty was a second-round pick in 2009 from Connecticut . . . The Jaguars released offensive tackle Guy Whimper, quarterback John Parker Wilson, and defensive back Brandon King . . . Former Dolphins and West Virginia quarterback Pat White wants to return to the NFL. He is going to work out as part of West Virginia’s pro day in Morgantown on March 14. The Dolphins selected White in the second round of the NFL draft in 2009 . . . A prosecutor in Mound City, Ill., will not pursue marijuana possession charges against Bears offensive lineman J’Marcus Webb, who was charged after a traffic stop in southern Illinois over the weekend . . . USA Football will begin instructing high school coaches and former NFL and college players this weekend in its Heads Up Football trainer workshop to promote player safety. The national governing body of the sport conducts its first workshops Saturday and Sunday, with 21 master trainers teaching the concepts to youth league leaders across the country.