Over the last two years, on 662 pass attempts – a little more than one season for most guys, but a season and a half for the run-focused 49ers – Smith has 30 touchdowns and only 10 interceptions and a 95.1 passer rating. And I don't think it's a complete fluke; even in 2009-10, he had 32 TDs and 22 picks, which isn't exceptional but is a far cry from his previous seasons.

The one blemish on his stats is his sack rate, which has ballooned from 7.8% from 2005-10 to 9.3% in 2011-12. But maybe that comes with throwing fewer interceptions. Maybe Smith is taking more sacks instead of throwing the ball up for grabs and having it get picked off. Neither is great, but I'd rather take the sacks.

Finally, unlike most of our short-term QB fixes in the past, Smith is still young. He'll turn 29 next May and could theoretically have a lot of football left in him. The 49ers realize this, of course, and will demand high trade value for him, but I think he'd be at least worth a second-round pick.

Would Smith's style fit with the Vikings? The team's running game is comparable to/better than the 49ers', though the 49ers clearly have the better defense. And maybe Jim Harbaugh is just a really good coach, and Smith wouldn't do as well with another guy calling the shots.

But he's likely to be the best quarterback available in 2013, and the Vikings can't go into next season with Christian Ponder and expect success. Something has to be done, and this might be it.