The general consensus is Alex Smith has reached the end of the line with the San Francisco 49ers, who will either work to trade the quarterback or release him with the former No. 1 overall pick due $8.5 million this coming season.

As much as the club might like to keep Smith with starter Colin Kaepernick, it doesn’t make sense from a financial standpoint and Smith wants out with a chance to become a starter elsewhere. But the 49ers are not going to bend over backward to help Smith land in the best spot for him, according to Daniel Brown of the San Jose Mercury News.

I don't think any player has those wishes granted when they're under contract," Niners coach Jim Harbaugh said when asked if Smith could receive special consideration. "And everything's different and every scenario is unique. Certainly something that we're not going to delve into and get into specifics at this point."

Chances are Smith would prefer to be released and the sooner the better in order to explore the free market. If the Niners could somehow get a draft pick for him, at least he would be going to a team that was committed enough to him to make a trade.

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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune