Here is the opening to my Monday column about Alex Smith:

We assume Alex Smith will not be a 49er next season.

We assume the 49ers will trade him. They will not release him because they would get nothing in return, and that’s just bad business.

One way or another, he is gone.

So how do we remember Smith, the first pick in the 2005 draft? He never deserved to go first, not in an Aaron-Rodgers draft. Picking Smith so high, placing all those expectations on him, was the 49ers’ fault. He suffered for his lofty draft status and his lofty contract — none of it his fault.

And he was not a bust. He is a good quarterback who, unfortunately for him, is not a hell of a quarterback.

To read the full column, click here.