San Francisco 49ers quarterback Alex Smith and Arizona Cardinals offensive lineman Adam Snyder know each other well. They both came into the league together and were teammates for years in San Fran. And based on what Adam Snyder said about Smith in a conference call, there is a lot of respect and admiration there.
However, the Sacramento Bee wrote a piece that suggested that Snyder would like to see Smith as the QB in Arizona next year (Alex Smith in Arizona? Snyder likes that idea) and Pro Football Talk took the headline even further (Adam Snyder would like to see Alex Smith in Arizona).
The problem? Snyder never said that. Fellow lineman Daryn Colledge was the first to call out the report and Cardinals VP of Media Relations Mark Dalton also made sure to clarify it.
Colledge tweeted this:
Dalton pointed to the transcript of the call.
There is a lot of teams that could use a quarterback next year. The Cardinals obviously have been going through a lot of quarterbacks. Do you lobby him in the offseason to maybe come to Arizona?
"That's going to be a decision that our personnel guys make. If somebody asked me about him, I would tell them exactly what I thought. I think the guy's got unbelievable character, and I think he's a leader. Obviously, he and I came in together so I have a special place for him. But, obviously that's something that the personnel guys upstairs are going to have to do, and if they have any questions about him, they can come and ask me."
So, Snyder clearly did not say, "I want Smith here." He clearly said that the personnel guys will make. And he made it clear that if they wanted to know his thoughts on Smith, they would be words of glowing recommendation.
However, reading a little beyond the actual words, you do get one clear impression. Snyder feels very strongly about Smith as a friend and as a quarterback. So he would obviously like Smith in Arizona.
Does that make Smith Snyder's first choice? That doesn't matter because he said that's up to the personnel guys.
Another point -- even if Snyder really would like Smith as a teammate, that isn't saying he wants to see Kevin Kolb, John Skelton, Ryan Lindley or Brian Hoyer gone. Since he is friends with Smith and he believes in him, he is naturally a guy he wants on his team. Who doesn't want their buddy on his team with him, especially when he really thinks highly of his ability?
I understand the need to make sure we all understand that Snyder was not telling the media or the world that he is calling for the Cardinals to bring in Smith. He wasn't, and that isn't his job. It gets messy when players get involved with personnel decisions. That's because their goals are a little bit different, as much as they might want to win.
But I am not going to pretend that Snyder wouldn't love to have Smith as a teammate again. He would, and there's nothing wrong with it, and it isn't a slight to his other teammates or to the personnel guys who will ultimately make that call.