Alex Smith had a front-row seat to Colin Kaepernick’s rapid rise, losing his job as the 49ers’ starting quarterback as Kaepernick seized the reins during the 2012 season.

Two Kaepernick starts while Smith recovered from a concussion turned into seven in the regular season, and then three more in the playoffs as the 49ers finished the season arguably a Frank Gore hand-off away from winning Super Bowl XLVII.

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The world was Kaepernick’s oyster, with the dual-threat QB on what Smith termed an “absurd” trajectory after his first extended NFL playing time.

No NFL team signed Kaepernick four years after that run.

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