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Harbaugh plays it coy about Alex Smith’s future

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The 49ers might have a “great respect” for deposed quarterback Alex Smith, but that doesn’t mean they’re going to give him away if they don’t have to.

During today’s wrap-up news conference, 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh cited his “great personal friendship” with Smith, but made it clear that’s not the same as giving him his freedom.

I don’t think any player has those wishes granted when they’re under contract,” Harbaugh said, via Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee, when asked about Smith being released. “And everything’s different and every scenario is unique. Certainly something that we’re not going to delve into and get into specifics at this point.”

Translated: “Our next item up for bid is a used, average quarterback, do I hear a draft pick?”

The 49ers clearly like Smith, they just don’t want him as Colin Kaepernick’s backup at $8.5 million. So they’ll try to shake the tree and see what falls out, while feigning interest in keeping him around to create the illusion of demand.

“We feel good, great about our quarterback situation,” Harbaugh said. “You can’t have enough good quarterbacks.”

You can, however, have too much money invested in one position, which is why no expects Smith to be a 49er that much longer.

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21 Responses to “Harbaugh plays it coy about Alex Smith’s future”
  1. skins716 says: Feb 5, 2013 4:10 PM

    i’d like to see him go to kc and see what reid can do for him.

  2. sixjak says: Feb 5, 2013 4:10 PM

    So they don’t want Alex Smith to back up Alex Smith? Huh?

  3. mogogo1 says: Feb 5, 2013 4:14 PM

    “The 49ers clearly like Smith, they just don’t want him as Alex Smith’s backup at $8.5 million.”
    ________________

    Feel free to proofread your stuff, guys. Smith isn’t backing up himself and I don’t think Kaepernick will be traded for another QB named Smith.

    Really, at the moment they’re not in terrible shape counting total money invested in their QBs. Problem is, they’re going to be all but forced to rework Kaepernick’s contract. And even is they somehow avoid that, having his backup earn something like 8 times his salary isn’t going to work.

  4. orivar says: Feb 5, 2013 4:19 PM

    Does anybody really believe what he says though? The chance that they’re going to use him as a way to search though how many draft picks they can potentially get, if not already doing that, is very high.

  5. hurrayforyogapants says: Feb 5, 2013 4:23 PM

    Too bad Ponder turned it around the last couple of games. Now we’re stuck with him. Alex Smith would be great in purple. Plus, he’d get to play Rodgers twice every year (at least).

  6. lushy21 says: Feb 5, 2013 4:24 PM

    Let the kid go already, He deserves a shot somewhere else and he has been nothing but accommodating to your organization.

  7. chris6523 says: Feb 5, 2013 4:26 PM

    It’s obvious as hell that the Niners are going to shop Smith. Nothing Harbaugh says is going to make anyone think any differently. The only way San Fran is going to get anything significant is if they are fortunate enough to find multiple teams interested in trading for him.

  8. sguy2130 says: Feb 5, 2013 4:26 PM

    The draft picks they can potentially get should = ZERO at that salary. If my team gives up any draft pick higher than the 6th rounder for him, I will lose all confidence in their ability to manage their assets.

  9. fuglyflorio says: Feb 5, 2013 4:30 PM

    Who’s more unlikable than Jim Harbaugh? Nobody.

  10. seano55 says: Feb 5, 2013 4:30 PM

    Umm the 49ers dont have too much money tied up in the qb position. They would be paying all 3 of their qb’s just above $9 mil next yr. Not bad when you look at what the Jets are paying Sanchez alone.

  11. thegreatgabbert says: Feb 5, 2013 4:38 PM

    Jim is being coy about Alex’s future, but the name Coy Detmer has crossed his mind.

  12. ppc50 says: Feb 5, 2013 4:39 PM

    “Our next item up for bid is a used, average quarterback, do I hear a draft pick?
    —————————————————-
    Alex Smith is hardly an average QB. His last 2 seasons, under Harbaugh, have been very strong. He is still young and has a good chance to play extremely well. I think KC would be a good fit, they have a running game, as well as a few others.

  13. 1phd says: Feb 5, 2013 4:45 PM

    Correct me if I’m wrong but isn’t it against the CBA to renegotiate a drafted player’s contract until after three years? If so, Kaep makes 750k next season.

  14. jaltreality says: Feb 5, 2013 4:45 PM

    Alex Smith is “average”?

    Well, I’m not sure how we’re evaluating quarterbacks anymore. I think Alex Smith is above average, he’s generally not going to win too many games on his own, but he’s also not going to be the reason you lose too many. He’s accurate. I can imagine him flourishing in a west coast offense (paging Andy Reid).

    But, I wouldn’t say he’s “elite”. Though who knows what that means anymore. These days it seems if you win the superbowl, you’re automatically elite. Though, in my mind, Flacco is a far, far cry away from Brady, Manning, Rodgers. Here is an easy test: you can pick one QB for your team of those 4, I’m pretty sure Flacco is your last pick.

  15. kevpft says: Feb 5, 2013 4:46 PM

    This team should not be selfish here. They screwed Smith over, and they’re doing great personnel-wise with so many starters signed, most for multiple years.

    They already angered the football gods by walking all over a loyal team leader who happened to the the #1 QB in the league – they shouldn’t compound the karmic debt by making it hard for him on the way out.

    This organization needs to show some class, for once, and let Smith go wherever he wants.

  16. dirtyjersey9er says: Feb 5, 2013 5:40 PM

    I notice no one was too concerned with Drew Bledsoe after the 2001 season ended.

  17. scrp2 says: Feb 5, 2013 5:46 PM

    When are we allowed to speculate how Smith would have done with Roman’s pass heavy game plan given that Kap was a bundle of nerves?

  18. mmsierra says: Feb 5, 2013 6:37 PM

    Set the guy free for God’s sake !

    Smith was a good soldier in a difficult situation
    He’s shown nothing but class in a sticky situation

    I wish Harbaugh could show some class, too

    Hold Smith hostage for a 6th rounder ?
    Really ?

    Good Luck, Alex

  19. istallion says: Feb 5, 2013 7:26 PM

    Alex Smith is average period.

  20. joe2jerry says: Feb 5, 2013 8:10 PM

    He’s not average as that means middle of the pack and he was top 5 in comp % and QB rating before the concussion.

    For those of you who think he’ll be released know this, the Niners aren’t stupid and would rather get a bag of Cheetos from KC than have him go to the Cards for free.

  21. ngbradley says: Feb 6, 2013 7:20 PM

    Wow. I didn’t know a QB Rating of 104 was average…

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