That’s a different approach than anyone’s been predicting and it is one that 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh seemed to dismiss at the Super Bowl on Wednesday. Harbaugh responded to a question about Smith wanting to be released, which we reported over the weekend, by saying that Smith’s feelings “absolutely” will be part of the equation of how they handle things this offseason. And nothing he said suggested they won’t be handling things by letting Smith go one way or the other.
“We won’t get into talking about the speculation or the what-ifs,” Harbaugh said, via NFL.com. “I’m sure that will play out, but he is a starting quarterback. He’s got a desire to be a starting quarterback, and I’m sure that will play out.”
Smith’s made that desire clear this week while simultaneously talking about being ready to help the 49ers should circumstances force him into the game. It’s a fence he shouldn’t have to straddle after Sunday’s game since there seems to be agreement from both sides — even York said Smith deserves the chance to figure out what he wants to do — that his future isn’t in San Francisco.