While the money was right, Smith's situation in San Francisco has never worked from a football standpoint. The 49ers' starting quarterback entering the season was Blaine Gabbert, a former first-round bust who relies on short throws and his legs to pick up yardage.
Kelly benched Gabbert in favor of Colin Kaepernick after a 1-4 start. Kaepernick, a polarizing figure because of his overt political activism, has performed as a quarterback in a way everybody can agree on: poorly.
Stuck with this QB catastrophe is Smith, a 2011 second-round draft pick who emerged with the Ravens thanks to his top-flight speed and ability to chase down Joe Flacco's deep passes.
Smith was a key player on the Ravens' 2012 Super Bowl team. The next year he amassed a team-high 1,128 receiving yards. The year after that, he had a team-high 11 touchdowns -- tied for 10th most in the league.
Just as it appeared Smith was becoming a top receiver in the league, he joined a lousy situation. The 49ers look helpless this season, and any path to rebuilding will be a long one.
The Eagles, meanwhile, are a surprise team this year, very much in the playoff hunt with a 4-2 record. And despite their success so far, their wide receiving corps leaves plenty of room for improvement behind go-to guy Jordan Matthews.
A trade could be a win-win-win for the rebuilding 49ers, the suddenly contending Eagles and the now-adrift Smith.