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Manning to 49ers could be tricky to pull off

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With all signs pointing to Peyton Manning and the Colts heading for a divorce, the question becomes whether, and when, Peyton will pick a new bride.

The Cardinals, Dolphins, and Jets have been mentioned as possible destinations.  If, however, Peyton plans to try to win more Super Bowls, the best team most in need of an upgrade at quarterback could be the 49ers.

Apart from the intriguing tentacles (Manning succeeding San Fran coach Jim Harbaugh as the Colts quarterback, Harbaugh coached the likely next Colts quarterback, Andrew Luck, at Stanford) and the question of whether Manning would move his wife and infant twins to California, the 49ers have the defense, the running game, and the fiery head coach to help Manning add to his one ring.

But here’s where it gets tricky for the 49ers.  With starting quarterback Alex Smith due to be a free agent on March 13 and the Colts not forced to make a decision on Manning until March 8, the 49ers could lose Smith if they don’t move quickly on Manning, who may not be fully healthy at that point.

That’s why the best fit for Manning could be a team that already has a starting quarterback under contract for 2012, giving the team some flexibility because there’s already a Plan A in place.  Then, that team could do either what the Jets did to Chad Pennington in 2008 or what the Vikings did to Tarvaris Jackson in 2009 and 2010, if this year’s Plan A+ comes to town.

The 49ers could pull it off by re-signing Smith to a manageable deal, which would leave enough cap room to bring in Manning later.  As Rosenthal pointed out Tuesday, Smith’s performance in the NFC title game could mean that the 49ers won’t have to break the bank in order to keep him around.

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80 Responses to “Manning to 49ers could be tricky to pull off”
  1. LoCoSu@%s says: Jan 25, 2012 2:35 PM

    This report assumes Alex Smith will be on board with the plan.
    I do not think that is a valid assumption

  2. ronjohn16 says: Jan 25, 2012 2:43 PM

    I’m sure Smith will be resigned, but they should consider Manning and sign Josh Johnson as a back up plan if Kaepernick isn’t ready.

  3. Land Snark says: Jan 25, 2012 2:44 PM

    There are so many suppositions to this article that are a bit off.

    Mainly that there’s some sense of urgency to have Alex Smith signed. No one’s going to snap him up from the Niners.

    But the other problem with this article is that you imply the Cardinals, Fins and Jests somehow don’t have a good to great defense like the Niners.

    The Cards actually played decent and would have been much better with a stable QB under center.

    Just imagine #18 throwing to Fitzgerald and Doucet; Wisenhunt would get Coach of the Year for sure.

  4. tennis22drew says: Jan 25, 2012 2:44 PM

    Big 49er fan, no thanks!

  5. loripetty says: Jan 25, 2012 2:44 PM

    Manning to the 49ers? Did you guys make this up? Harbaugh clearly wants to blaze his own trail, and he’s already shown considerable confidence in Smith despite his “game manager” style.

  6. radiofriendly420 says: Jan 25, 2012 2:45 PM

    The 49er’s should focus more on trading their draft to the Colts for Andrew Luck. Why would Harbaugh want a 36 year old QB when he could get his boy right out of college?

    The 49er’s are already a solid team with solid coaching. The Colts could use 14 picks in this years draft. Guys they can put around Peyton for the next 4-5 years if he can last that long. It’s a win-win for both sides. Hardaugh gets a young franchise QB. The Colts get tons of talent to keep around their guy, Peyton Manning.

    Ricky Williams draft trade style.

  7. nickmiller63 says: Jan 25, 2012 2:46 PM

    None of those defenses are at the 49ers’ level, Land Snark.

  8. cali49er707 says: Jan 25, 2012 2:46 PM

    ” badda-boppa-boppa-baaa IM LUVIN IT”

  9. toonsterwu says: Jan 25, 2012 2:47 PM

    Will Peyton want to go to the NFC and have to potentially fight his brother for a Super Bowl spot? I really wonder, if all things being equal, if he wouldn’t prefer to stay in the AFC as a result. Furthermore, would he want to go to such a regimented offense?

    There are a lot of small issues at hand that we really don’t have answers for yet.

  10. mataug says: Jan 25, 2012 2:47 PM

    The biggest question still remains unanswered – How is Peyton Manning’s current health ?

  11. brenenostler says: Jan 25, 2012 2:49 PM

    I disagree with La Canfora in that he wouldn’t go to the Jets. Tom Moore coaches there now. The only problem with that is they already hired Tony Sparano to run the offense. I don’t think Manning is willing to learn a new system, so either Sparano would have to adapt or be fired. (Another case of bad timing in the NFL)

  12. time2speakup says: Jan 25, 2012 2:53 PM

    OK Gang – help me out here if I am wrong. But is it not true that the injury to Peyton’s neck came in a football game? I am, always will be, a Die-hard Niner. Love and am happy with Alex and his season. As a realist, I love watching Peyton work just like everyone else – but! One play, just one – and this young man could easily spend his remaining days being fed through a straw. Peyton – son, sit your butt down somewhere. Go play with your babies – and be glad you still can. And wait for your enshrinement – which is a given.

  13. mikeinfected says: Jan 25, 2012 2:55 PM

    Niners have too many free agents to look after who are worth more to the team than one QB, however good/injury free he might be.

    Rather have Smith, Goldson, Morgan, Rogers and if it we can get it done,, Costanzo, Ginn, Grant, Spillman, Brooks and Snyder back and that’s not going to be cheap. If there’s anything left, a wide receiver might be nice too.

    And great plan to have Manning AND Smith. Jeez hasn’t Alex been through enough ?

  14. kelmcc says: Jan 25, 2012 2:55 PM

    Should go to Detroit…..

    Backup QB there will get 9 games next year. Stafford wouldn’t be able to get his spot back once Megatron and Manning start together.

  15. siaaa says: Jan 25, 2012 3:00 PM

    as great as he has been in his career, signing him is a tremendous gamble for any team. I would love to see him comeback and play at the level he was before the injury but that is just wishful thinking. he will never be the same.

  16. efriedo says: Jan 25, 2012 3:03 PM

    “Manning to the 49ers? Did you guys make this up? Harbaugh clearly wants to blaze his own trail, and he’s already shown considerable confidence in Smith despite his “game manager” style.”

    DUDE! There isn’t a coach in the league that would rather have Alex Smith over a healthy Peyton Manning. Get real!

  17. moseszd says: Jan 25, 2012 3:04 PM

    Manning will take one look at that third-rate Diva WR (Crabtree) and say” “No way, I need a WR that can beat single coverage in a playoff game…”

  18. sixjak says: Jan 25, 2012 3:06 PM

    I say it’s all a beautiful lie. Seriously, Manning >>>9ers is intriguing indeed. Manning to VD and DWalk would be fairly insane for defenses to stop. Lots of ppl needlessly hate on A. Smith. He’s a pretty solid QB. He ain’t no gunslinger and never will be. I think the only legitimate gripe about him is he’s a bit too conservative. When he has let it rip in some of his come from behind games he has done rather well. A lot of you wouldn’t know that because you don’t watch him play regularly and are spoon fed whatever NFL Network or ESPN chooses to put on their highlight reels. If your name isn’t Manning Brady, Rodgers or Breeze you generally don’t make it.

  19. jenniferxxx says: Jan 25, 2012 3:06 PM

    Peyton over Smith is a no-brainer. SF would be a beast with him as QB. Harbaugh may be an emotional 10-year-old, but he’s not stupid.

  20. jakek2 says: Jan 25, 2012 3:07 PM

    Wasn’t Alex Smith “elite” just a short 2 weeks ago when he was lighting up the Saints? Now all of a sudden, after one game and following a 13 win season, he’s gone???? Knee meet jerk.

  21. lolb23 says: Jan 25, 2012 3:09 PM

    Suh and Fairley would break his neck again. Bad idea.

    Stay in the AFC where you are safe Peyton. Dolphins is a good choice. No one in AFC East has a pass rush.

  22. stlouis1baseball says: Jan 25, 2012 3:11 PM

    If Manning is healthy…he stays in Indianapolis.
    If not…he retires. Simple really. I realize it doesn’t result in all the Jerry Springer drama today’s society now seems to crave. But still really simple.

  23. ebeg420 says: Jan 25, 2012 3:12 PM

    He wants to play with Andy Reid in Philly, Rob Lowe told me. He also said that Philly would trade Mike PICK to S.F. for Patrick Willis.

  24. bigbluebruiser says: Jan 25, 2012 3:12 PM

    Peyton Manning at 70 percent is better than a 100 percent healthy Alex Smith.

    If it weren’t for those two V.D. TD’s………….Smith probably would’ve had the worst performance ever by a staring QB in a championship game.

    Cali would be perfect for Manning to chase another ring. He would have to get used to throwing outdoors more but that shouldn’t be a problem at this point.

  25. clarenceoveur says: Jan 25, 2012 3:19 PM

    What about Peyton just not signing anywhere and going into pseudo-retirement and then maybe coming back if that right situation develops? Imagine Bears or Texans this year if they could have brought him in.

  26. newtons2ndlaw says: Jan 25, 2012 3:21 PM

    Manning is a definite upgrade from Alicia. Not even debatable even at half-strength. The question is what is Harbaugh’s attitude towards a Veteran HOF QB leading “his” team. From everything I’ve observed and read from Harbaugh it seems he is some what of a control freak. It’s no wonder he has kept baby Alice as his QB.

    I mean have you seen him treat him like a child on the sideline. Amping him up by smacking him around, consoling him like a favourite Uncle, defending him in the press. I don’t think this megalomaniac would want a more accomplished player than him a Head Coach on his team. Especially since Peyton is a defacto offensive coordinator.

    Sadly they will retain Alex Smith again and try to upgrade their Receiving corp, as if they haven’t tried a million times already with the same QB.

    It seems both the Harbaugh brothers value defense and mediocre Qb play over Superbowls. Defense wins championships, my ass.

  27. bigbluebruiser says: Jan 25, 2012 3:22 PM

    @jakek2

    He was never elite……………that was something Jim Harbaugh said to build up Smith’s confidence. Seven years of mediocrity then finally has one good year and he’s elite?

    I never heard an elite QB once being referred to as “an abused child that needed a hug”, as Steve Young pointed out on ESPN.

    I’m not sure Harbaugh deep down believed Smith is an elite QB or he would’ve taken the training wheels off and have Smith throwing more than 26 passes with a Super Bowl trip on the line, if he really is an elite QB.

  28. cmstrick says: Jan 25, 2012 3:27 PM

    Peyton to the 49ers would be the death knell for Alex Smith’s confidence and career. Terrible idea.

  29. schmitty2 says: Jan 25, 2012 3:27 PM

    It doesn’t matter who they have at QB if they don’t have a decent WR corps. Maybe they should address that problem first?

  30. efriedo says: Jan 25, 2012 3:32 PM

    “Wasn’t Alex Smith “elite” just a short 2 weeks ago when he was lighting up the Saints? Now all of a sudden, after one game and following a 13 win season, he’s gone???? Knee meet jerk.”

    Alex Smith was NEVER ELITE! He had a great game. No one can take that away from him. The ’9ers had a great season. No one argues that. But the fact remains that Smith converted 0 third downs and completed one pass to a WR all game.

    Championship QBs convert on 3rd down. Elite QBs find WRs more than once per game, even if they’re not “open” (and nobody is truly “open” in the NFL anyway…)!

    Nobody is throwing in the towel on Smith because they lost. But if a team has a chance to get Peyton, even if it’s only for 2 years, they will go for it. Would you rather have Peyton for the next two years, or Alex Smith for the next four???

  31. Amadeus says: Jan 25, 2012 3:35 PM

    Why take a chance on Zipper Neck when Alex Smith showed he’s capable of leading his team to the SB? All he needs is another good WR and a little more creativity on offense.

  32. citizenstrange says: Jan 25, 2012 3:45 PM

    Oh God! Oh God! Oh God!
    He’d look good in Black and Gold!

    GO STEELERS!

  33. Nevis says: Jan 25, 2012 3:45 PM

    LoCoSu@%s says:
    Jan 25, 2012 2:35 PM
    This report assumes Alex Smith will be on board with the plan.
    I do not think that is a valid assumption

    ————————–

    Harbaugh has already stated that every and all players, including Alex, will be competing for jobs next year, just like they did last year.

    The 49ers will put the best team on the field, so Alex can roll with it or try his hand elsewhere.

    I assure you that Harbaugh or Baalke aren’t worried about hurting anyone’s feelings on this subject.

  34. Nevis says: Jan 25, 2012 3:47 PM

    BTW, for the record — there is no chance in hell this deal will happen.

    He’ll probably end up in New York.

  35. jackntorres says: Jan 25, 2012 3:47 PM

    The 49ers are fine they have Alex and don’t need Peyton….

    *crickets chirp*

  36. goldrush36 says: Jan 25, 2012 3:49 PM

    There’s reasons the 49ers offense was so regimented. There was no off-season. Players were still grasping the offense late in the year. They still needed to gain more confidence. The defense made it to where they didn’t need to take major risks. Heres the biggest and most important one though. Vernon Davis is the only guy on the roster that can consistently get open, catch the ball and get it to the endzone. All of Crabtree’s td catches were under 10 yds. Until the WR situation is improved dramatically this offense will suffer. A healthy Manning is an upgrade sure but who’s he gonna throw to?

  37. Nevis says: Jan 25, 2012 3:52 PM

    Land Snark says:
    Jan 25, 2012 2:44 PM

    Mainly that there’s some sense of urgency to have Alex Smith signed. No one’s going to snap him up from the Niners.

    But the other problem with this article is that you imply the Cardinals, Fins and Jests somehow don’t have a good to great defense like the Niners.

    ————————————–

    First of all, Seattle was reportedly very interested LAST year, so it can be safely assumed after this year that a half dozen teams or so will pick up the phone and explore options.

    Secondly, none of those teams hold a candle to the 49ers defense. If you think they do, pass the pipe when you’re done.

  38. realitypolice says: Jan 25, 2012 3:54 PM

    cmstrick says:
    Jan 25, 2012 3:27 PM
    Peyton to the 49ers would be the death knell for Alex Smith’s confidence and career. Terrible idea.
    ==============

    Um, who cares about Alex Smith’s confidence and career? Certainly no one in San Fran will if they get Manning. Because, you see, Alex Smith would no longer be on the team.

    On another note, I think the Dolphins game plan involves Matt Flynn, not Peyton Manning. Some people in Miami are saying that the fact that Philbin can deliver Flynn, and possibly his QB coach Tom Clements, was the deciding factor in his getting the HC job.

  39. uwsptke says: Jan 25, 2012 4:02 PM

    radiofriendly420 says:
    Jan 25, 2012 2:45 PM
    The 49er’s should focus more on trading their draft to the Colts for Andrew Luck.
    Ricky Williams draft trade style.

    =========================

    There is NO WAY the 49ers have the ammo to pull that off. The #1 pick is worth 3,000 points. Assuming the 49ers pick #30, all 7 of their picks would add up to 1,120 points. They’d need to trade every pick in the next 3 or 4 drafts for the Colts to not laugh and hang up the phone. And I still wouldn’t do it.

    The Saints moved from pick #12 to pick #5 (7 spots) to get Williams and had to trade all 7 picks PLUS a 1st & 3rd the next year. It would take a trade the likes we’ve never seen for a team to move up 29 spots.

  40. sharks123 says: Jan 25, 2012 4:19 PM

    Wasn’t Alex Smith “elite” just a short 2 weeks ago when he was lighting up the Saints? Now all of a sudden, after one game and following a 13 win season, he’s gone???? Knee meet jerk.

    Anyone that would say anyones elite after a few good minutes of football is a tool.

  41. gottahavemyfootball says: Jan 25, 2012 4:20 PM

    I don’t know how much cap room we have left but it seems like if we’re looking to get Peyton we’d have to give up on a few key guys we need to resign. Among the most important are Rogers, Goldson, and Brooks. Not to mention we’re in serious need of receivers

  42. hmpennypacker says: Jan 25, 2012 4:23 PM

    Why in the name of Bill Walsh would we trade our entire draft for Andrew Luck?? We CAN win with Alex Smith. We just need some wideouts. If Vincent Jackson’s a free agent I’d like to see us make an play for him. Or Steve Smith if he’s healthy.

  43. trubroncfan07 says: Jan 25, 2012 4:33 PM

    Manning is 38 and has a neck injury. Right now as it stands, Alex Smith is the better QB. Give him a full off season and he will get better. Stand behind your QB 49er fans.

  44. dprouse says: Jan 25, 2012 4:36 PM

    Three neck surgeries in the last year and a half, with each one failing to solve the problem. The last surgery saw Manning sit out the entire 2011 season. If you remember the news stories, they said that the nerves were simply not regenerating as they had hoped. By the end of the season, all the ultra competitive Manning could do was some light throwing.

    Has no one grasped the implications of this? Let me spell it out – dude now has fused bones in his neck, and permanent nerve damage. The odds that he can pass an NFL physical are slim to none. He is done, boys. He hasn’t accepted it yet, which I understand, but the sad truth is that Manning has thrown his last NFL pass.

  45. beeronthefridge says: Jan 25, 2012 4:40 PM

    Manning to 49ers = at least six more superbowl wins for SF

  46. nineroutsider says: Jan 25, 2012 4:42 PM

    And now one from far left field…

  47. kpow55 says: Jan 25, 2012 4:45 PM

    Kind of sick of the Cardinals always being mentioned in the mix.

    They’ve lost waaaaay more quality FAs than they brought in.

    With it’s current ownership it’s just not an attractive destination.

    Short of Warner whom was considered washed up at the time at they kind of fluked into each other and it worked, what quality FA has ever gone to AZ? Quality, not Kolb or Edge & Emmit past their prime or Porter chasing a check.

    Adios to: Boldin, Rolle, Plummer, Breaston, Dansby, Aeneas, Pace, KVB, Hightower and any other draft pick after a few years.

    It’s the typical landing spot it you’re at the tail end of your career and chasing a check.

    Manning may be closer to the end than the beginning of his career but he is better than that.

  48. sylvan9000 says: Jan 25, 2012 4:50 PM

    As a neurosurgeon I find it hard to believe Payton will ever be cleared to play again. While the media may well be wrong. If he did have disc fusion and an anterior cervical plate when this is healed he will hardly be normal. The flexility of the neck will be decreased as well as rotation. It will also be brittle.
    This surgery is common in those over 50 but uncommon in 35 year olds. This suggests underlying degenerative disease or other congenital process. His older brother Cooper had to quit football in college due spinal stenosis with numbness and tingling in this hands.
    In addition, I cannot find a reference to any football player who had this survey while active. Therefore there is no precedent.
    What team or what doctor would assume the risk and liability of allowing him to play knowing he could be paralyzed on any play?
    Indeed, I wonder who is really leveling with him about his prognosis.

  49. hawkitnow says: Jan 25, 2012 4:55 PM

    Manning to the Allen Wranglers along with T.O.

  50. newtons2ndlaw says: Jan 25, 2012 4:57 PM

    Oh I’m sorry Dr. dprouse, but until we have that in writing, everything you’ve said is complete conjecture. Right now we can safely assume he is not in as serious condition as you’ve over stated. It seems you are trying to deflect the fact that Manning is a clear upgrade from Smith by trying to rule Manning out completely. Unless you are apart of the medical team that looked after/looks after Peyton, keep your non professional “opinions” to yourself, please.

    This is a football site, devoted to open conversations between fans not amateur spinal/neck surgeons giving their diagnosis for players they know nothing about.

  51. 13champlain says: Jan 25, 2012 5:03 PM

    If by some miracle the Texans could land him, they would be unstoppable.

  52. bobhk says: Jan 25, 2012 5:07 PM

    There are so many suppositions to this article that are a bit off.

    Mainly that there’s some sense of urgency to have Alex Smith signed. No one’s going to snap him up from the Niners.

    But the other problem with this article is that you imply the Cardinals, Fins and Jests somehow don’t have a good to great defense like the Niners.

    The Cards actually played decent and would have been much better with a stable QB under center.

    Just imagine #18 throwing to Fitzgerald and Doucet; Wisenhunt would get Coach of the Year for sure.
    ———————–
    Firstly it’s not a question of whether other teams will come calling for Smith. He’s in the top half of all QBs. So, certainly other teams could put in a call for Smith. B
    However, I don’t think Smith would be interested in such a move as he seems to have finally found a good coach/stability with the 9ers.

    Cards would be a good fit as would be the hawks. While I agree that the Cards and Hawks have good defenses, they are not at the same level as the niners D. That D is beastly and probably the best in the league. To top it off it’s still very young and figures to get better.
    The oldest guy is J Smith at 32.

    All that aside, I don’t think Manning to 9ers is going to happen. I think it would make 9ers a favorite if they get receivers but it does not seem like Harbaugh’s style.

  53. zinn22 says: Jan 25, 2012 5:25 PM

    Obviously the first question is he healthy enough to play. That is a big if but assuming that is the case for the purpose of this discussion he only has once choice and thats the Jets.

    The Jets are the most talented team in the leageu in every area but QB. Give the Jets an average or below average QB last eyar and they are a 11-12 win team. Give them Peyton and they are the best team in the league.

    The Jet OL will be the best OL Peyton has ever played with. Peyton has always been able to avoid sacks and hits with his pre snap reads, quick release and nimble footwork. Unlike Sackchez who was the cause of almost every sack he took this year.

    Playing in NY will allow Manning to beat Brady twice a year and give him the opportunity to prove he is the best QB that has ever played the game. Not to mention he can add a couple of more rings.

    If Manning plays 3-4 more years he will break Favres TD and yardage records.

    Manning is Mr. Commercial and there is no better place for that than NY.

    Manning wanted to go to the Jets in 97 but Parcells refused to guarantee they would draft him so he stayed in college an extra year.

    He gets to play with his brother and Archie gets access to the NY media. Archie still pulls the strings and he has been talking up Peyton to NY for awhile now.

    NY has everything Peyton wants and that is the opportunity to prove he is the greatest that has ever played the game. If he wins with the Jets he will acknowledged by the media as the great one. That is all he has left to accomplish. NY is the only place for him.

  54. killitandeatit says: Jan 25, 2012 5:29 PM

    I don’t see a Manning on the West Coast. I recall when Eli was drafted,he wanted no part of any West Coast arrangement. My bet is he’s a Redskin come next season.

  55. waxthat says: Jan 25, 2012 5:41 PM

    To all that say Manning wouldnt want to go to the Niners because the lack of WR core is laughable. Manning would make Crabtree a pro-bowl receiver. VD would have career years. Bring Wayne along and it would be scary.

    Manning is arguable the greatest ever. If he’s healthy and wants to go to San Francisco, you bring him in. No question.

  56. brutus9448 says: Jan 25, 2012 5:56 PM

    alex smith will want a kolb like contract. Guaranteed!

  57. iknowzeroaboutsports says: Jan 25, 2012 6:00 PM

    Not happening. Archie Manning would veto it.

  58. goawayeverybody says: Jan 25, 2012 6:03 PM

    The 49ers? Please give me a break. First of all, Alex Smith is way more mobile. Would San Fran really trade all of Smith’s mobility for a slight uptick in accuracy? Nobody even knows if Manning will ever be medically cleared to play football!

  59. kpow55 says: Jan 25, 2012 6:07 PM

    He’ll be working for CBS

  60. MTLighthouse69 says: Jan 25, 2012 6:12 PM

    You can’t have an all Manning SB if Peyton ends up in the NFC. My best guess is that Peyton stays in the AFC, no doubt in my mind.

    I can’t wait for both Eli and Peyton to retire and take their loud mouth father with them. I don’t know why the media kisses up to Archie so much.

    I used to be an Archie fan when he was a player, but once all that Eli draft nonsense started, I have had no use for the guy.

  61. edavidberg says: Jan 25, 2012 6:25 PM

    I don’t think there is going to be many teams wanting Alex Smith to be their starter. In fact, I can’t think of a single team off-hand. The Niners have the ability to wait and see how it plays out, or to offer Smith a reasonable deal that would still allow them to go after Manning if he’s healthy.

    Signing Matt Flynn may be an even better idea than signing Manning though. I dunno how much cap room the Niners have but if they can upgrade the QBs and WRs they will have a potential Super Bowl contender for the next several years.

  62. darrelb says: Jan 25, 2012 6:27 PM

    The Niners already have a Head Coach and an Offensive Coordinator. They don’t need a washed-up 38 year old QB who thinks he is both and might be crippled on the first big hit. It’s over, Manning, go away graciously.

  63. 4evrnyt says: Jan 25, 2012 6:33 PM

    Seriously? Manning to 49ers? Let’s just start the Favre to 49ers it’s about as likely.

  64. hairpie says: Jan 25, 2012 6:47 PM

    we seem to be forgetting this is a guy that cant win out doors and has a career losing playoff record with a hand picked team of all stars around him.

  65. funkylovemonkey says: Jan 25, 2012 7:00 PM

    There are a lot of reasons I don’t see this as a good idea. For one, with the 49ers offensive line Peyton Manning would be injured by midseason. Alex Smith was the most sacked QB in the NFL last season, taking 44 sacks, even though Smith is fairly mobile and can occasionally get out of trouble. Manning isn’t known as a mobile QB and he’s older now. Seems like a recipe for disaster.

    The other big reason is the 49ers really lack at WR. If the NFC championship game showed anything, it was that they are very weak at WR. Crabtree had a decent end of season, but nothing spectacular, and while I’m a fan of Morgan who should be back next year he usually is only good for 50 catches a season. Right now, unless the 49ers get some help in that area, he’s going to be stuck with throwing to only Vernon Davis and Gore as well.

    Ultimately after Favre, any team has to be hesitant to throw a lot of money at an aging star.

  66. musicman495 says: Jan 25, 2012 7:01 PM

    I’m sure Smith will be resigned, but they should consider Manning and sign Josh Johnson as a back up plan if Kaepernick isn’t ready.
    ———————————————–
    See Kaepernick in the preseason? He may NEVER be ready. He makes Tebow look like a Tom Brady.

  67. realitypolice says: Jan 25, 2012 7:05 PM

    Anyone focusing on the presence of skill position weapons as an indicator of what team Peyton would consider is missing the point in my opinion.
    Manning has proven his ability to make stars out of average talent over and over again.

    What he needs is a rock solid offensive line that will keep him clean. He is as immobile as a statue in the pocket.

    In that same vein, he may also wish to consider a division that doesn’t feature teams with imposing pass rushers.

    If history has taught us anything, it’s that the key to Manning’s greatness is having time to throw.

    San Fran ranked 26th in O-line play, the Dolphins #30, Arizona #31, Jets #20.

  68. mmcdan133 says: Jan 25, 2012 7:06 PM

    Everyone wants to put him in New York, Baltimore or wherever, but let’s get real. Those teams spend up to the cap, and dropping 28 million on a 3 year rental isn’t happening. He’s still going to want to go somewhere that has won recently, and has a roster that, with an elite qb, can compete right away for a title. Of QB needy teams like that, there are only two options that can fit him under the cap. San Francisco and Kansas City.

  69. rhone16 says: Jan 25, 2012 7:16 PM

    This is one of those things that sounds great on paper, but it ignores some realities of the situation: the 49ers are clearly happy with Smith in the near future, and probably like Kaepernick as the long term answer. Plus, the Niners don’t get into biding wars in free agency.

  70. dstep24 says: Jan 25, 2012 7:17 PM

    LoCoSu@%s says:
    Jan 25, 2012 2:35 PM
    This report assumes Alex Smith will be on board with the plan.
    I do not think that is a valid assumption

    _______________________

    And what does Smith get to say about anything?…Please.

    One year whereby a coach was able to mask Smith’s substantial deficiencies doesn’t earn him the right to start claiming any job. He’s still a sub-par NFL QB and SF is clearly won in spite of him, and not because of him.

    Who gives a rip what Alex Smith thinks. He’s Alex Smith.

  71. dstep24 says: Jan 25, 2012 7:20 PM

    darrelb says:
    Jan 25, 2012 6:27 PM
    The Niners already have a Head Coach and an Offensive Coordinator. They don’t need a washed-up 38 year old QB who thinks he is both and might be crippled on the first big hit. It’s over, Manning, go away graciously.

    _____________________

    Says the guy who’s team boasts Alex Smith as it’s starting QB.

    Good heavens.

  72. theysone says: Jan 25, 2012 7:26 PM

    He’s old and broken. Do not want.

    Even if he somehow returns to form (which at this pour appears highly unlikely) he has 1, maybe 2 years left in him.

  73. rabidbillsfan says: Jan 25, 2012 7:48 PM

    Who cares where he goes… Where do I place my bet for “Comeback player of the year 2012″?

  74. commandercornpone says: Jan 25, 2012 8:11 PM

    alex smith wost starting qb in nf championship game history… no. try pat haden, vince ferragamo, doug williams, danny white, dieter brock, jay schroeder, wade wilson, jim everett, shaun king, daunte culpepper, donovan mcnabb, michael vick, jake delhomme.

    afc… kenny stabler, dan pastorini, richard todd, jay schroeder, dan marino, neil o’donnell, mark brunell, jake plummer, kordell stewart, mark sanchez, stan humphies, david woodley.

    smith did better than any of the losing games these guys played, and some of the ones who won.

    it may have been lost of some folks that harbaugh told him to throw to davis and no one else… like not crabtree.

  75. 1historian says: Jan 25, 2012 8:28 PM

    No matter WHAT the doctors say Manning is one good hit away from a wheelchair and a sipping straw. He has all the money he’ll need – he is being stupid and selfish.

  76. lookatthefarside says: Jan 26, 2012 6:06 AM

    I think a better story would be Marques Colston to the 49ers!

  77. ninersforlife15 says: Jan 26, 2012 6:28 AM

    Alex Smith is going to be the 49ers starting qb next year. He just completed one of the best season for a quarterback in recent memory. Yea he didn’t throw for 5,000 yards but he was one of 13-15 qb’s to throw for 3,000+ yards along with the fewest interceptions in the league and 17 touchdowns with a passer rating 90+. he had his best year as a pro this year with his 7th different offensive coordinator and this will be the first time the same offense is comming back next year. This will be the first time in 7 season that Alex Smith comes back with confidence. If anything bring in a guy like Josh Johnson, whom Harbaugh coached at San Diego St., or even a David Garrad. Just get a viable number two who has experience. They also need to get another receiver preferably a veteran like a Reggie Wayne (if not resigned), or Donald Driver (if not resigned), or a Desean Jackson (if nit resided).

  78. gmsingh says: Jan 26, 2012 9:13 AM

    This isn’t fantasy football–there is no reason to believe that Manning post-surgery will be any better than Alex Smith, if he’s even able to start at all.

  79. briank1ne says: Jan 26, 2012 5:04 PM

    former colts qb with another former colts qb? woah! could smell trouble for the nfl.

  80. bozosforall says: Feb 9, 2012 10:24 AM

    Only if Peyton can still throw it with velocity and accuracy.

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