We’ve touched upon the odd circumstances surrounding the 49ers and Alex Smith more than once this offseason. Even though Smith is a free agent, 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh gave Smith a playbook and expects Smith to be the team’s starting quarterback.
The NFL stepped in, thinking this all was a little awkward to be out in the public.
“The league has mandated we do not talk about [Smith],” Harbaugh said last week via Eric Branch of the Santa Rosa Press-Democrat. “The NFL has mandated that we don’t talk about players who are not under contract — who are free agents who haven’t signed. We’ve been sent a memo saying we can’t talk about it.”
A team spokesman confirmed to Branch that Harbaugh was told to zip it in the future while talking about free agents. Even if those free agents are running your player-only practices during the offseason.