With the news yesterday that the San Francisco 49ers are expected to trade quarterback Alex Smith to the Kansas City Chiefs for a second round pick and a conditional mid-round pick in 2014, it brings up a somewhat amusing and quirky piece of NFL history, namely the quarterback pipeline that exists between San Francisco and Kansas City.
Naturally, by far the most famous of these cases is Joe Montana, who was traded to the Chiefs in 1993 after the emergence of Steve Young, who in his own right became one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time and ended up in the Hall of Fame.
But Montana was just the first in a quick succession of quarterback trades between the two teams in the mid-90s, a partnership that has been renewed thanks to Alex Smith. See who else made the journey from San Francisco to Kansas City in the list.
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Joe Montana, arguably the greatest quarterback of all time, won four Super Bowls with the San Francisco 49ers. Following the emergence of Steve Young, however, the 49ers traded Montana to the Chiefs in 1993, beginning a string of quarterback trades between the two teams.
The next year, the 49ers traded quarterback Steve Bono to the Chiefs. Bono served as Montana’s backup for four years, then one as Young’s backup. After the trade, he served another year of apprenticeship under Montana in Kansas City before getting the chance to start a year later when Montana retired.
After replacing Bono as Steve Young’s backup in San Francisco, Elvis Grbac found his way to Kansas City to replace Bono as their starter, who had replaced Montana.
In 2013, the SF-KC pipeline has been reopened, bringing Alex Smith to the Chiefs as their latest starter. Although the trade cannot be confirmed until the start of the league year on March 12, it is believed that the structure of the trade is already in place.