After the 2012 season ended, the 49ers made it clear to Alex Smith that they were not going to release him. Smith, in turn, made it clear to the team that he didn't want to be a backup quarterback.
The only option left was a trade, and Smith said Wednesday he had no doubt where he wanted to go.
"It wasn't close," Smith said at his introductory news conference in Kansas City. "Everything pointed here for me, and I was excited about that, and I'm so thankful it worked out, thankful it got done."
New Chiefs coach Andy Reid said he has followed Smith since the quarterback was at Utah, where Reid's good friend Kyle Whittingham was the team's defensive coordinator.
"When I was at Philadelphia, for whatever reason we seemed to play (the 49ers) every year, and I got to see him first hand," Reid said of Smith. "He was somebody if I had the chance, I would want on my team. So I did inquire about him periodically with the 49ers."
Smith will wear No. 11 for the Chiefs, and he'll run a West Coast offense like he did the last two years in San Francisco.
Smith, who arrived in Kansas City on Tuesday night, said he hadn't had time to look at the playbook or to talk to new teammates, such as wide receiver Dwayne Bowe. Smith acknowledged that it was awkward to know about the deal for two weeks and not be able to communicate with his new team. But he said quarterback buddies around the league assured him he would love working with Reid.
"From all the quarterbacks I've ever known and have gotten to play for him, they only had good things to say," Smith said. "His pedigree, I think, speaks for itself."
Reid said Smith's intangibles were just as important as his on-field ability.
"You'll find out in time what you've got here," Reid said. "From a coaching standpoint, what a tremendous addition to a locker room. He's a fine football player but even a better person. That's welcome here - his leadership."
Reid even took it a step further.
While acknowledging former Chiefs quarterback Len Dawson at the news conference, Reid said he wanted to give the Chiefs another Hall of Fame passer.
"We're going to work on getting Alex into the Hall of Fame," Reid said. "I'm privileged to be in a room with two great ones."
Read Matthew Barrows' blogs and archives at www.sacbee.com/sf49ers and listen for his reports Tuesdays on ESPN Radio 1320. Follow him on Twitter @mattbarrows.
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