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Harbaugh: Alex Smith won’t be released

San Francisco 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh talks with quarterback Alex Smith during warm ups ahead of the NFL Super Bowl XLVII football game against the Baltimore Ravens in New Orleans Reuters

Jim Harbaugh said he thought his team had the best quarterback situation in the league, and he’s either going to keep it that way, or get something for it.

Harbaugh just said it was “unlikely” the 49ers would release quarterback Alex Smith, meaning he’s either confident he can find a trade partner, or would be content keeping him as Colin Kaepernick’s backup.

Smith at $8.5 million is too much for a backup, but for many teams, he’d be an affordable upgrade as a starter.

With a draft class of quarterbacks that no one can make up their mind about, Smith might be a safer bet than the rookies, and not so prohibitively expensive to make him a burden.

But Harbaugh also left open the possibility of keeping Smith, in an effort to maintain leverage.

“We think we’ve got the best quarterback situation,” in the league, adding after a pause: “We feel strongly about that.”

While that might be a stretch, they do have an asset, and Harbaugh is working hard to maximize it.

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37 Responses to “Harbaugh: Alex Smith won’t be released”
  1. fuglyflorio says: Feb 22, 2013 3:18 PM

    Of course. Why should Harbaugh do something decent now? Just keep lying. Oh, and throw a tantrum too.

  2. nfloracle says: Feb 22, 2013 3:19 PM

    I don’t think it’s a stretch at all.

    Name another team that has two quarterbacks who had the kind of season Smith and Kaepernick had?

  3. bubbybrister/shovelpass says: Feb 22, 2013 3:19 PM

    “We think we’ve got the best quarterback situation,” in the league, adding after a pause: “We feel strongly about that.”

    Funny – Rex said almost the same thing in December.

  4. RavenzGunnerz says: Feb 22, 2013 3:21 PM

    FREE SMITH
    FREE SMITH
    FREE SMITH

    Going to get the shirt made and printed.

  5. ridingwithnohandlebars says: Feb 22, 2013 3:22 PM

    Hey Jim, if you give us Alex Smith we will give you some cake.

  6. scrp2 says: Feb 22, 2013 3:22 PM

    If I were Alex Smith I’d be happy to hold a clipboard. You’re making 8.5m and you get to stay healthy. Either that or the Browns.

  7. aces79 says: Feb 22, 2013 3:30 PM

    unload Smith we can use the money for Goldson

  8. kqole25 says: Feb 22, 2013 3:32 PM

    I’m sorry but for me, Smith still needs to show more. He had how many seasons of sub par play before Harbaugh got there? Teams that have QB issues shouldn’t be so urgent to trade the farm for him. After all 2 seasons ago, everyone wanted a different QB in SF. Heck even Harbaugh didn’t hesitate to make a move when some thought Smith should have got his job back.

  9. bigpap says: Feb 22, 2013 3:36 PM

    nfloracle says:Feb 22, 2013 3:19 PM

    I don’t think it’s a stretch at all.

    Name another team that has two quarterbacks who had the kind of season Smith and Kaepernick had?

    ——-

    I dunno, maybe the Eagles? Vick/Foles had a few more turnovers, but otherwise…..

  10. reed20fence says: Feb 22, 2013 3:38 PM

    There is the chance that he means exactly what he’s saying. The pistol isn’t necessarily the safest offense to run for a QB.

  11. baymac408 says: Feb 22, 2013 3:42 PM

    Lets go NINERS.. Excited and can’t wait for these off season acquisitions!! Smith for REVIS campaign!! Lets get it in

  12. citynative says: Feb 22, 2013 3:42 PM

    @fuglyflorio

    I think its time to join the work force. Making negative comments on every 49ers article is a waste of your time, but more importantly, our time.

  13. raiderdaddy says: Feb 22, 2013 3:51 PM

    No team in NFL history had an $8 mil back-up QB, (@season start)ever! Baalke & Harbaugh are like that pathetic car salesman, doing their best to sell their commodity(ASmith) and they think someone will get suckered! lols! The whole NFL world knows the 9ers are gonna dump ASmith for his salary, which idiot team will trade for him? lolz!

  14. thereisfootballwestofjersey says: Feb 22, 2013 3:53 PM

    Smith to KC for a 2nd round pick. Straight up

  15. RexCanCoach says: Feb 22, 2013 4:02 PM

    He will be a NY Jet before April 1st.

    Timmy, welcome to the 49ers!!!

  16. ripster65 says: Feb 22, 2013 4:05 PM

    “I dunno, maybe the Eagles? Vick/Foles had a few more turnovers, but otherwise…..”
    ——————
    You’ve got to be kidding, right?

  17. bartlettruss says: Feb 22, 2013 4:10 PM

    The team with the best quarterback situation in the NFL is the team with the best starting quarterback, not the one who has the best average of two or three. You only play one QB at a time. I would rather have the “quarterback situation” in NE, Denver or Green Bay just to name a few.

  18. calicokiller49 says: Feb 22, 2013 4:12 PM

    Package up smith and a couple picks, get into the top ten of this draft, sign mike Wallace, re sign Goldson. Bam! Hey I can dream right? Who cares what happens , I’m finally excited about our QB situation……we are gonna be contenders for a while now,

  19. riverhorsey says: Feb 22, 2013 4:14 PM

    Would be a crime to keep Smith as a back up. The guy is in his prime, give him his shot somewhere.

  20. saintsfan1111 says: Feb 22, 2013 4:14 PM

    8.5 million dollar backup? Never happen.

  21. mjkelly77 says: Feb 22, 2013 4:16 PM

    hairbough chases manning around the country, throws Alex Smith under the bus and now won’t release him. Players beware! See how this coach takes advantage of your dedication to team? Like a two bit hooker on crack, hairbough is going down once players figure out how selfish he is.

  22. marvin49 says: Feb 22, 2013 4:20 PM

    @raiderdaddy and @saintfan1111

    On the surface you would both be correct…

    …if the starting QB weren’t making 750K so you are unter 10m for both QBs. Due to the new CBA, Kaep can’t be renegotiated till after NEXT season.

  23. marvin49 says: Feb 22, 2013 4:22 PM

    @bartlettruss

    I get your point, but right now I’d take Kaepernick over either Brady or Manning based mostly on age.

    Rodgers tho I’d probably take over Kaep.

  24. stevincinci says: Feb 22, 2013 4:23 PM

    saintsfan1111 says: Feb 22, 2013 4:14 PM

    8.5 million dollar backup? Never happen.

    When you consider Kaepernick makes $500,000, it could happen. 2 starting qb’s for 9 million. Then when it’s time to pay Kaepernick they let Smith go.

  25. dukemarc says: Feb 22, 2013 4:25 PM

    Doesn’t this mean they’d have to make other significant cuts and not sign Goldson?

    I don’t buy it.

  26. futbodevil says: Feb 22, 2013 4:29 PM

    bubbybrister/shovelpass says:
    Feb 22, 2013 3:19 PM
    “We think we’ve got the best quarterback situation,” in the league, adding after a pause: “We feel strongly about that.”

    Funny – Rex said almost the same thing in December.
    ____________________________________

    Right…& those 2 situations are the same, since the niners went to the super bowl & the jets also…oh wait

  27. ambitoos says: Feb 22, 2013 4:30 PM

    You better keep Smith. Kaepernick isn’t going to last the way he runs. He’s got great but fragile legs.

  28. JSpicoli says: Feb 22, 2013 5:02 PM

    I’l be back to say i told you so when Smith is released outright.

  29. mrpolarbear99 says: Feb 22, 2013 5:24 PM

    Have you seen what else is out there for QB’s in free agency and the draft? Let the bidding war begin. Niners will get at least a 2nd round pick for Smith.

  30. jprcox says: Feb 22, 2013 5:39 PM

    Why do people keep writing articles about SF/Seattle releasing their backup QBs?? Obviously they are going to wants something for them, or they will simply keep the backups considering how little both teams pay their starts.

    Keep in mind, both Seattle and SF run an offense where the QB is subject to more hits etc – so its not crazy to think the best option is to have a great backup. Flynn/Smith might not like that – but they are getting paid big bucks for their services, so they shouldn’t complain too much.

  31. pistolpete0903 says: Feb 22, 2013 5:43 PM

    The jury is NOT yet out on Kaepers.
    Admitted he had a great season; however with an off-season full of game tapes, teams will figure him out.

    Wait till end of next season; if Kaepers is the real deal, then trade Smith. Till that time, think of the $8 mil as a QB insurance policy.

  32. sdb0ltz says: Feb 22, 2013 5:48 PM

    See if this was AJ Smith he would let Smith walk for NOTHING like he has done all of our major free agents.

    Drew Brees, Vincent jackson, Michael Turner, Darren Sproles, Wes Welker (to aquire Clinton Hart… doh!), Rodney Harrison, Junior Seau… Shall I keep going?

  33. myosin10 says: Feb 22, 2013 6:26 PM

    Not crazy to have two starters getting paid under 10 million. Most teams wish they had two starting QBs. Top it off 10 million is all you gotta pay! I also don’t get why people think Kap is Fragile? He went 10 games without getting hurt. He didn’t really get hit when he ran the ball! Keep them both just in case. Any starting QB can get hurt it doesn’t matter if they run sometimes or sit in the pocket.

  34. bobhk says: Feb 22, 2013 6:59 PM

    pistolpete0903 says:
    Feb 22, 2013 5:43 PM
    The jury is NOT yet out on Kaepers.
    Admitted he had a great season; however with an off-season full of game tapes, teams will figure him out.

    Wait till end of next season; if Kaepers is the real deal, then trade Smith. Till that time, think of the $8 mil as a QB insurance policy.
    ————
    The dude can run. He has a cannon for an arm. He’s cool under pressure. He’s quite accurate.
    What’s not to like?

    To the guy who was claiming about the excellent situation in NE, DEN, and GB: I would take Kaepernick over Brady and Manning. That’s not a diss on either. But they will be 37 and 36 years old shortly and at the twilight of their careers.

  35. fuglyflorio says: Feb 22, 2013 7:10 PM

    citynative … keep whining. It’s what you Niners do best.

  36. matthewcarlson1 says: Feb 22, 2013 9:12 PM

    They kind of owe him his freedom don’t they? I mean after losing your job to injury the least they can do is let you find a new one. Then again if I was making 9 mil I would carry the team’s bags if I had to.

  37. boyshole25 says: Feb 22, 2013 10:25 PM

    What a dirt ball

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