Smith should swallow pride, sign with Niners

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Alex Smith (L) and head coach Jim Harbaugh may have spoiled their...

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Alex Smith (L) and head coach Jim Harbaugh may have spoiled their relationship. (REUTERS/Rick Scuteri)

John Kryk, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 6:18 PM ET

"Yeah, Alex is our guy. That's well documented."

So said San Francisco 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh last month at the NFL Scouting Combine, when asked whether the Niners were looking to upgrade at the quarterback position, or if Alex Smith's starting job was safe.

Strange way to treat "your guy," then.

Turns out Smith's job wasn't safe. The Niners snuck in late last week as a last-minute, but intensely interested, suitor in the Peyton Manning sweepstakes. Harbaugh and GM Trent Baalke clandestinely flew to North Carolina to watch Manning throw.

As we wrote last week before that news broke, it was more than a little curious that a team that tried so hard to convince everybody that Smith's job was safe, didn't either franchise-tag him or sign him before he became a free agent last Tuesday.

Now that Manning has apparently chosen to sign with the Denver Broncos, the Niners have little choice but to call up Smith's agent, Tom Condon, and sheepishly resume negotiations.

And if Smith is smart, he'll turn down however much money the even-more desperate -- and Manning-jilted -- Miami Dolphins might throw his way.

The Niners came within a barely-ticked punt muff of reaching the Super Bowl last season, and have re-signed every free-agent starter on the NFL's No. 1 defence. Plus, they've added potential deep threats Randy Moss and Mario Manningham at wideout.

By comparison, Miami is a mess.

Alex, swallow your pride. Go back to Frisco. They need you, and you need them.

Besides, it's well documented that you're their guy.


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