Alex Smith thinks his chances of returning to the San Francisco 49ers are nil.
After Sunday’s season finale, the San Jose Mercury News asked Smith if he could envision a scenario in which he could return to the 49ers in 2011.
“Are you being serious?” Smith said. “Uh . . . no.”
Before that, Smith had stepped up to the podium at the post-game press conference and said he wouldn’t rule out returning. But it seems that he just thought that was the polite thing to say while standing at a podium with the 49ers logo behind him, and his later comment in a one-on-one conversation with a reporter was his more candid feeling.
Smith’s 82.1 passer rating this season was the best of his career, and at age 26 he still has plenty of good years left in his career. But all indications are that those good years will be spent somewhere other than San Francisco.