With five days to go before the start of free agency, the 49ers and quarterback Alex Smith still haven’t come to terms on a new contract leaving some to wonder about what is holding things up.
According to a report from Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee, the length of the contract is a big snag. The 49ers have an offer on the table for Smith that’s reportedly for three years while Smith and agent Tom Condon are looking for a five-year pact. There’s also a difference in terms of the amount of guaranteed money, although that’s probably not totally exclusive from the length of the deal.
The fact that both sides want to make a long-term commitment to one another will probably wind up building a bridge over the gap between them before the start of free agency. That doesn’t mean it will absolutely happen, of course, but the 49ers have always seemed comfortable sticking with Smith and there’s no question that Smith is comfortable playing in the offense that Jim Harbaugh and Greg Roman built around him last season.
Should Smith wind up shopping himself to other teams, Barrows points out that Scot McCloughan, the general manager who originally drafted Smith in San Francisco, is now working for the Seahawks. Seattle’s in the market for a quarterback and it’s not out of the realm of possibility that they might find a way to let Condon know that if Peyton Manning, who is also repped by Condon, doesn’t want to play for them that they’d be interested in making a play for Smith.
There’s still plenty of time for things to play out, but now we have some idea of what’s keeping Smith and the 49ers from reaffirming to one another.