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Alex Smith scoffs at suggestion he could return to 49ers

San Francisco 49ers v Philadelphia Eagles Getty Images

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.

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32 Responses to “Alex Smith scoffs at suggestion he could return to 49ers”
  1. donterrelli says: Jan 3, 2011 12:14 PM

    “all indications are that those good years will be spent somewhere other than San Francisco.”

    —-

    …like Cleveland, Carolina, Arizona, or Seattle.

  2. dabears2485 says: Jan 3, 2011 12:14 PM

    That organization needs to figure out how to hire a good coaching staff, then worry about franchise QBs. Smith should move on, and so should the 49ers.

  3. eknirb says: Jan 3, 2011 12:15 PM

    Alex, let me pack up your locker for you. Today.

  4. keakuamai says: Jan 3, 2011 12:19 PM

    When I read that report my reaction was just the same; “are you kidding me?”. Glad to see Alex feels the same way because no way do I want him back shucking balls into the ground slamming them off helmets and throwing them over the receivers heads. One good game on occasion doesn’t make him a good QB regardless of the OC, or HC. He’ll be a good journeyman somewhere but he’ll never fulfill the #1 overall pick status.

  5. xpensivewinos says: Jan 3, 2011 12:27 PM

    I preface this by saying I’m sure I’m in the minority with this opinion, but I think in the right, stable environment with the proper coaching, Alex Smith can still be a solid quarterback in the NFL. He just never fit in any of the regimes in SF. There will be a lot of teams willing to take a shot on him.

  6. steelerdynasty2010 says: Jan 3, 2011 12:44 PM

    his answer is HILARIOUS

  7. dallasbaby says: Jan 3, 2011 12:45 PM

    The rest of the league scoffs at Alex Smith.

  8. thehighhat says: Jan 3, 2011 12:49 PM

    Somewhere out there Aaron Rogers is smiling.

    Thanks Nolan.

  9. jhorton83 says: Jan 3, 2011 12:57 PM

    I don’t think he’ll find a starting job anywhere, but he’ll make a decent backup for some team.

  10. ronaldmexico says: Jan 3, 2011 12:58 PM

    Smith gave an honest answer that no one should find surprising. He can be a decent back up and is even better than some of the awful starting QBs around the league, although I doubt he’ll ever become a franchise QB type even with a change of scenery.

  11. blackheld says: Jan 3, 2011 1:05 PM

    You guys beating on Alex Smith need to check the QB ratings for the rest of the QBs in the league.

    An 82.1 is a very decent rating, especially with Singletary as your coach.

    Better, I’ll note, than Sam Bradford’s.

  12. kellyb9 says: Jan 3, 2011 1:29 PM

    @xpensivewinos – Thank you for having some sense. I’m so sick of fans being so quick to write the epitaph on some of these players. Alex Smith has had subpar coaching his entire NFL career, and what makes that even worse is that he’s had a large variety of sub-par coaching. In the right environment, and in the right system he could succeed. Peyton Manning wasn’t Peyton Manning his first few years in the league, it took time, it took patience, and above all, it took ownership’s commitment to a coach and a system. Otherwise, maybe Peyton Manning isn’t Peyton Manning today. Maybe he’s Alex Smith or Matt Leinhart.

  13. keakuamai says: Jan 3, 2011 1:31 PM

    Listen there’s only 1 statistic that counts and that’s the “W” all that other stuff like ratings are usually reserved for losers.

  14. epping16 says: Jan 3, 2011 1:34 PM

    xpensivewinos says:
    Jan 3, 2011 12:27 PM
    “I preface this by saying I’m sure I’m in the minority with this opinion, but I think in the right, stable environment with the proper coaching, Alex Smith can still be a solid quarterback in the NFL. He just never fit in any of the regimes in SF. There will be a lot of teams willing to take a shot on him.”

    I agree with you 100%. Alex Smith will make the 49ers regret not ever bringing in a coach that is smart enough on offense to run an offense around him. If you put him in a good system with a coach that has a clue how to develop a QB he will be a very solid QB in the NFL. And this is coming from a 9ers fan.

  15. cosmicduster says: Jan 3, 2011 1:37 PM

    Cardinals starter and they win the NFC West next year.

  16. funkylovemonkey says: Jan 3, 2011 1:44 PM

    Speaking entirely based on stats, Alex Smith had a better year then Sam Bradford (76.5) despite the hype that he has had in St. Louis. You can argue that the 49ers have a better team then Bradford did, but you can’t argue that about the playoff bound Mark Sanchez (75.3).

    Just as a reminder that the problems the 49ers are facing aren’t limited to the QB position. Alex Smith was a big target of fan ire but if the 49ers want to be contenders they need to seriously work on their O-Line and their Secondary. That’s especially true as the possibility looms of drafting another QB in the first round. What chance is he going to have behind our terrible offensive line?

    The way York has handled the GM situation has forced me to lower my expectations and settle down for another couple years of mediocrity. Especially when I hear rumors that Jeff .542 six-winning-seasons-in-the-last-17-years Fisher is on the short list if Harbraugh gets pulled to another team. Seriously, that’s the best we can do? Compare that to Holmgren, in 16 years he had 12 playoff appearances, a superbowl win and two superbowl appearances.

    If we’re stuck with Troy Smith next year we might actually start to miss the Alex Smith days.

  17. babyjesus69 says: Jan 3, 2011 1:49 PM

    Alex is now schooled in 8 (?) varieties of offensive systems. He’ll prosper elsewhere without the pressure of being the first overall pick

  18. thehighhat says: Jan 3, 2011 2:20 PM

    After watching Alex getting buggered and run over by Nolan and Dnigletary over the last 6 years, I predict he will go to the Cardinals where a real coach like Whisenhunt will mold him into a very effective QB.

    And I’m sure he will enjoy sticking it to us twice a year for the next few years.

  19. emperorzero says: Jan 3, 2011 2:39 PM

    Smith doesn’t seem to be a franchise quarterback, but I think its obvious the kid can play. Like everyone else has said – coaching, system, and patience is the key.

  20. carson9 says: Jan 3, 2011 2:41 PM

    I don’t see any team wanting AS unless its for a 3rd string position. He’s had more chances then any other QB could ever dreamed of and has blown all of them. For those 49er fans who still support him, you need to put the medical mary jane away and come to your senses. Outside of San Francisco AS is a punchline and nobody wants him. He will make a good practice squad player some day.

  21. vaneeghan says: Jan 3, 2011 2:57 PM

    For the benefit of all involved, he should have left 2 years ago instead of restructing his contract. Hindsight is 20/20. Here’s to better days, Alex.

  22. toonsterwu says: Jan 3, 2011 3:05 PM

    Someone’s going to take a chance on him. He’s shown flashes throughout his career, but a lack of stability at the OC position didn’t help. I remember a few years ago, he looked rather promising under Norv, and then Norv got the San Diego job. Get him a good QB coach and I still thnk there’s a chance he’s a starter in the league. One possible fit might be Washington, where his skillset would fit the WCO.

  23. theytukrjobs says: Jan 3, 2011 3:14 PM

    You know there are some half decent, half young QB’s available as stop gaps for the Seahawks, Vikings, Cardinals, and Carolina. Orton, Alex Smith, and Kevin Kolb all probably will be moved and each one of them is young enough and has enough promise to get a shot on a team with no QB.

    You can play it both ways with a guy like Smith. We still don’t know what he’d do on a well rounded, well coached offense. He might settle in and deliver on his potential. Kolb we’ve seen so little of but he hasn’t really done much to make people think he’s hopeless. Orton always seems to play a little better than expected and then tail off, but he hasn’t played on the most talented offenses in the world.

  24. discosucs2005 says: Jan 3, 2011 3:19 PM

    I understand that he was put into a terrible situation over and over again. But he isn’t a great QB, and I doubt he ever will be. I think his best chance is to go to a team like the Steelers, Colts, Packers (irony), Patriots or anyone else with an established QB, where he can be the backup. With a good team around him, I don’t doubt that he can manage a few games for wins. But could he be a great or even good QB somewhere else? Extremely unlikely. He had some nice numbers (compared to the rest of his career) this season, but a lot of his TDs were either to wide open guys who had beat their coverage, or like we saw yesterday, Vernon Davis doing 90% of the work.

  25. chilly49 says: Jan 3, 2011 3:26 PM

    Alex Smith will be there best option next year and he is a GOOD quarterback regardless of what the general public thinks.

    He has had some of the worst coaching in NFL History (Singletary) and no continuity over the last six years (7 OC’s). He is still very young, smart and accurate with the football.

    Hopefully the new HC will push to keep Alex. I know Billick and Gruden both like him but I doubt either will be the coach.

    There won’t be many other options out there for the 49ers. Luck and Newton will probably both be drafted before 7th overall. There are no free agent QB’s that can get the job done either so, Alex Smith should be re-signed because he gives us the best chance to WIN and Jed York needs to realize this too.

  26. mean13 says: Jan 3, 2011 3:31 PM

    Mr. Smith goes to Washington.

  27. jagerbolt says: Jan 3, 2011 4:02 PM

    Bring him in as a back up in San Diego. I think Billy Volek’s contract is up this off-season? He actually looked decent when he was working with Norv. Let him sit behind Rivers and have Norv work with him and give the guy a little stability.

    Then AJ Smith can trade him for some nice picks much like he did with Whitehurst.

    Then again if Rivers ever went down I would be crap my pants at the thought of Smith being the QB.

  28. ryaley1 says: Jan 3, 2011 4:51 PM

    Alex Smith will be missed. I can’t wait to hear who we will blame next year.

  29. ryaley1 says: Jan 3, 2011 4:56 PM

    “Listen there’s only 1 statistic that counts and that’s the “W” all that other stuff like ratings are usually reserved for losers.”

    Maybe for bowling or tennis.

  30. tlynn02 says: Jan 3, 2011 8:05 PM

    are you guys all kidding me? seriously? no matter how bad the coaching and switching OC’s and this and that…this guy has had many many chances in the NFL with the niners to prove something. this was his year. he didnt perform and he made horrible decisions at times. Like the fumble vs the eagles this year. you guys are all a bunch of preschool teachers. The man had his chance…..go ahead, send him to arizona that way he can actually help the niners! and who cares about his rating. look at his yards and his interceptions…not very good. bradford had more yards than him. and bradford doesnt have VD or micheal crabtree. get real guys.

  31. keakuamai says: Jan 3, 2011 10:29 PM

    “Maybe for bowling or tennis.”

    I was paraphrasing good old Vincent here ryaley and from what I understand he seemed to know a thing or two about football and winners and losers.

    Alex had years to show consistency to show any kind of sustained attack but unless things were really easy, he folded like a thin piece of paper.

    No matter what you say that’s the business of professional football, winning.

  32. ryaley1 says: Jan 4, 2011 11:35 AM

    @ Keakuamai

    I know in a sense you are correct. I don’t know what it is about Smith that makes me like him so much. I have watched every game for the last 22 years and besides the Eagles game, I have never thought he was the reason the 49ers couldn’t win.

    He has always had people who loved him or hated him. I guess we will soon find out which side was right when he goes to another team.

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