The 49ers’ contract talks with free agent quarterback Alex Smith have reached an apparent stalemate. The Niners are unwilling to meet Smith’s demand for a five-year deal, and are also being careful to not overpay.
According to CSN Bay Area’s Matt Maiocco, the 49ers have refused to give Smith a Ryan Fitzpatrick-type deal because San Francisco’s front office believes the six-year, $59 million extension is not “indicative of Fitzpatrick’s true value.”
And as Maiocco further notes, Friday night’s Mark Sanchez extension, valued at $40.5 million over three years and $58.25 million in five-year net worth, could toss another unexpected wrench into the 49ers’ negotiations with Smith.
Sources tell Maiocco that the 49ers want to leave the door open for 2011 second-round pick Colin Kaepernick, for whom the club traded up in last April’s draft. Therefore, San Francisco is “reticent” to offer Smith a lengthy contract that would include $20 million guaranteed. Fitzpatrick’s reported guarantee was $24 million. Sanchez’s is $20.5 million.
And so while the 49ers likely value Smith more than the NFL’s other 31 teams, their attempts to retain him are becoming more difficult as talks drag on.