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The San Francisco 49ers don't really have the space to sign anymore top-tier free agents. They've spent most of their money stocking up on big wide receivers and have little salary left to spend. They have limited cap room at this point and looking out guys who will sign for the veteran's minimum.
The 49ers are looking at one particular offensive lineman.
Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle files this report.
Lutui is coming off a year with the Cardinals after failing a physical with the Bengals, negating his original two year deal, and performed adequately. This isn't the first offensive guard San Francisco has worked out recently. They worked out Leonard Davis last week.
RG Daniel Kilgore (entering his second year) is the favorite at the position after Adam Snyder left for Arizona, especially after letting Chilo Rachal walk.
To discuss Lutui with 49ers fans, head on over to Niners Nation.
Much has been said already about the signing of quarterback Josh Johnson and what it means for the current players on the San Francisco 49ers' roster. Does it mean there's now a competition with Alex Smith for the starting job, or does it mean Johnson and second-year player Colin Kaepernick are going to throw down for the main backup role? Perhaps Johnson is actually the fourth quarterback and that's what the team wants to go with, utilizing him in different ways here and there. Or maybe he's just a replacement for third-stringer Scott Tolzien.
Well, the truth is that nobody is really sure at this point. When it all comes down to it, Johnson wants to compete for a starting role, and didn't truly get that opportunity with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. They were always going to go with Josh Freeman, who cost them a first-round pick, and for the most part, that's worked out for them. Johnson has always been an under-the-radar kind of guy.
So, we know Johnson wants to compete - he told the Bay Area media as much before Smith re-signed with the team, even if Smith were to come back. Well, Smith is back and Johnson is here, with Kaepernick and Tolzien in the fray. This is likely quite a few things at work here, let's take a look at a couple of them.
It's unlikely that the 49ers are not confident in Smith. They didn't feel pressured into giving him more guaranteed dollars, lest their season be lost, but they do feel like they can win football games with him at the position. This much is known to be true. But ...
It's possible that the 49ers are not totally happy with said production from the quarterbacks. Johnson is a guy who has worked with Harbaugh in the past and has a chance to put up bigger stats than Alex, if he has what it takes at the pro level. Even if the 49ers are confident in Smith, that doesn't mean they're thoroughly satisfied. Mixing it up increases the chances that you'll find someone who truly fits.
Or perhaps the 49ers are just doing Johnson a favor. Harbaugh likes him, and they might consider him the No. 3 guy now. Who really knows?
There's all kinds of other things to consider - like perhaps they're keeping Kaepernick busy while he rides the bench, or they're not satisfied with Kaepernick after drafting him. At any rate, it's highly unlikely that Johnson is here to have an actual, factual competition with Smith. Not after the money they just gave him.
Let's just call it interesting.
It's unclear who's feelings were hurt, who was slapping who in the face an who, in fact, insulted who's mother when it came down to the San Francisco 49ers and Alex Smith. If you believe a lot of the reporting, Smith was jaded and insulted about the fact that the 49ers pursued Peyton Manning, and if you agree with a lot of blogging, you believe that he was right in feeling that way.
Well - this is a business, and it happens to be a damn fine one, because Smith and the 49ers are back together and they're not weakened. They're not being forced to re-build a relationship. They're a player and a team who had some tough negotiations during free agency and really, did you ever think he was leaving?
One thing that became abundantly clear, at least to this writer, was that seeing Smith in a different uniform would have been ... weird. The guy is a 49er, through all of the idiocy and instability, he remained here. It would have been a pretty big shock to see Smith depart over a couple million, when he survived all kinds of things, from Mike Nolan calling him out for not playing with a separated shoulder to Jimmy Raye searching Yahoo for the rat.
No, it was pretty clear that the 49ers weren't going to lose out on Smith if they didn't sign Manning, and it's not because there's some insight that I have that you don't. There's nothing that's making me more qualified than you ... but if you did worry, there is definitely something you overlooked.
The Miami Dolphins are a terrible organization. Boosh.
More: On Alex Smith Signing
The San Francisco 49ers and quarterback Alex Smith have officially come to terms on a three year deal worth $8 million a year and $16.5 million guaranteed, keeping the bromance of head coach Jim Harbaugh and Smith intact for a few more seasons after a tumultuous week for free agent QB's across the nation.
"We are pleased that Alex has chosen to continue his career as a 49er," said 49ers General Manager Trent Baalke. "His contributions were instrumental to our success in 2011, and we look forward to the continued growth of our offense under his leadership"
Smith is coming off his best year as a professional, leading the 49ers to a 13-3 record, the NFC West division crown and a trip to the NFC Championship game. He started all 16 regular season games, completing 273 of 445 passes for a career-high 3,144 yards with 17 touchdowns and only five interceptions. He also posted a career-high 90.7 QB rating, while leading the 49ers to five, 4th-quarter comebacks in the regular season.
For more on Alex Smith and the 49ers in general, please head over to Niners Nation.
It's been a long and somewhat confusing free agency period for the San Francisco 49ers. More accurately, it's been long and confusing for their fans, who have had to follow along while their team tries to court Peyton Manning. That's all over now, and the horrible, broken relationship with all of the hurt feelings and face-slapping between Jim Harbaugh and Alex Smith has been mended.
That was sarcasm, if you didn't catch that - a nod to the folks who have been putting way too much emotion into the business side of things. So let's just pass that on by and get to more business-related things. The 49ers had a reported offer of around $24 million over three years for Smith during the Manning saga, so it was assumed his eventual contract would look a bit like that.
Janie McCauley is reporting via Twitter that Smith's deal is worth $33 million altogether. It confirms a three-year deal, with $8 million per season and $16.5 million guaranteed. This fits the bill of three years at $24 million, with the other $9 million or so coming from incentives. None of this is confirmed, but it is a solid launching point for the discussion and the numbers seem pretty accurate.
What's going to be interesting is seeing what Alex's year one cap hit is, and how much space the 49ers have to make some moves. They've got a decent amount of space left, but still don't have a right guard and will have to sign all of their draft picks. It'll be interesting to see what year three looks like, as most assume it will be time for Colin Kaepernick by then.
The San Francisco 49ers and Alex Smith reportedly closed in on a three-year deal as of Tuesday evening, but the night came and passed without any official move. Various unnamed sources indicated the two sides had repaired their relationship after Smith was allegedly upset with the decision to pursue Peyton Manning, and the deal is believed to be worth somewhere in the neighborhood of $24 million dollars.
Assuming the reports are true and the two sides do not hit any speed bumps while finishing up the contract details, an official decision could be made as early as Wednesday.
The 49ers know what they are going to get from Smith; the former No. 1 pick fails to do anything spectacular while on the field, but has proven that he can win crucial games when his team needs him most. San Francisco should have an improve group of receivers for Smith to throw to, as well, which can only help his progression down the road.
Smith is essentially the final option for the 49ers. Manning went to Denver, Matt Flynn is now in Seattle and Tim Tebow is, well, not a legitimate quarterback option. It appears a deal will be reached in the near future.
For more on Smith and the 49ers, be sure to check out Niners Nation.
The NFL Network's Michael Lombardi is reporting that the San Francisco 49ers have agreed to a new contract with free agent quarterback Alex Smith.
This tweet follows close on the heels of another report over at ESPN, where according to Chris Mortensen, sources had indicated that the 49ers and Alex Smith were close to finalizing a deal that would bring Smith back to the Bay Area for three more years and average out at about $8 million per season. That report indicated the deal was close but not done, with both sides working out the guaranteed money and language on the contract.
Smith passed for 3,144 yards, 17 touchdowns and only 5 interceptions in 2011 and led the Niners to the NFC West title and a berth in the NFC Championship game. They'd been delayed in contract talks while the Peyton Manning sweepstakes played out, but once the 49ers were eliminated from that race, Smith became the team's top priority.
We'll have updates here as the news comes out. Head over to Niners Nation for more...
The San Francisco 49ers are looking for a quarterback now that it's not clear that Alex Smith will be back. With Peyton Manning not coming, there are a lot of Option Bs out there for them to consider.
Well, if Jim Harbaugh can't have Andrew Luck, why not grab another former pupil? Cam Inman of the San Jose Mercury News files this report.
Josh Johnson, a former pupil of coach Jim Harbaugh, wants the 49ers quarterback job if Alex Smith doesn’t.
Actually, Johnson wants to vie for it even if Smith re-signs.
"It’s a great organization and they were a great team last year, so most definitely I would," said Johnson, primarily a backup the past four seasons with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Johnson is one of those guys that you don't think much about. His time in the league has been checkered, completing only 54% of his passes and throwing ten picks to only five touchdowns. Still, you have to figure that if anyone will be able to coax the most out of Johnson, it's his old college coach (who pulled off similar wonders with Smith). Johnson was one of the most efficient passers in college history, and even sniffing that type of strength would provide San Francisco with a capable quarterback to place in their rotation.
The San Francisco 49ers currently don't have a quarterback right now, or at least not one with experience at the position. So why not Tim Tebow? At first glance he seems to be a natural fit for the type of offense the 49ers ran, and he might be a solid enough replacement if Alex Smith doesn't return.
It's a fun rumor that has no legs. Sorry folks, nothing to see here.
Asked where the Tebow rumor came from, Jed York shrugged his shoulders, the univeral sign for "Dunno."— Eric Branch (@Eric_Branch) March 20, 2012
49ers CEO Jed York on Tim Tebow: "He's not coming here."— Cam Inman (@CamInman) March 20, 2012
I know Jim Harbaugh favors an aggressive run attack and loves to pound the football with 5-10 yard plays rather than worrying about deep throws and stretching the field with a vertical passing attack, but I don't think he wants a quarterback that struggles to do anything but throw against busted coverage. Tebow fans will have to look elsewhere with regards to his next destination.
It's a good thing the San Francisco 49ers didn't sign Peyton Manning to be their starting quarterback. No, not because it has opened the door for Tim Tebow in San Francisco -- that's just an awful thing to say. It's a good thing because, as expected, the Denver Broncos are actually trying to drown him in money. They're giving him the key to Denver ... they're making him a giant neckbrace out of diamonds.
Adam Schefter reports that Manning is set to make $96 million over the next five years. That is an obscene amount of money, and not too different from the number he was going to be making with the Indianapolis Colts. That's money the 49ers didn't even come close to offering when it all came down to it, which is pretty obvious. The initial numbers were that all teams involved were offering five years at around $60 million. It's a safe bet that the 49ers were in at that number.
But when the Broncos stepped it up, they simply told Manning that they had the best team and the best opportunity for him to win a Super Bowl. His forehead cream was already bought for life, and he didn't need that kind of money. But Manning did follow the money and that's GREAT for him. Everybody is happy for him. That doesn't change the fact that this is way too much money, for a number of reasons.
Nobody knows Manning better than the Colts organization. They've been with him his entire career, and they were with him every step of the way throughout his various neck injuries. At 36 years old, a team is committing to keep Manning for another five years. That's crazy -- especially given that he was released. Everybody talks about the perfect storm in Indy, the fact that they can get Andrew Luck and start anew.
But do you think -- even for one second -- that if Manning were healthy and good to go for five years that the Colts would rather reboot and start fresh? Hell no they wouldn't. They'd keep paying Manning and ride as many of those five years as possible, right into the ground. And that's why this is stupid money. It's stupid money because Manning probably doesn't have more than a season left in him, and he may not even have one at all.
The San Francisco 49ers lost out on the Peyton Manning sweepstakes on Monday and have subsequently invested their efforts in mending fences with free agent QB Alex Smith. Although most people expect Smith to re-sign with the 49ers, until he does so, anything remains possible. And Adam Schefter only added fuel to the flames.
Three teams to monitor as trade talks for Tim Tebow pick up: Jacksonville, Green Bay, San Francisco.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 20, 2012
Now that the Broncos are handing the reigns over to Peyton Manning, they have made it known they are interested in dealing away Tim Tebow. Although some would argue he has considerable value in a backup role, with his ability to bounce around as a running back, wide receiver, and red-zone QB weapon, John Elway only seemed to get on board for the brief comebacks and not much else.
Although Alex Smith is expected to re-sign with the 49ers at some point, the teams have been playing a weeklong game of chicken that has each side looking for additional leverage. When Smith did not immediately agree to the 49ers' three-year contract offer, the team began their pursuit of Peyton Manning. While Manning figured things out, Smith went to Miami.
Now Manning is off the table, and the 49ers and Smith are back to square one. Could this Tebow rumor have been floated by the 49ers to gain some leverage back on Smith? It is virtually impossible to figure out what is a legit possibility and what is simply leverage.
The San Francisco 49ers still don't know who their starting quarterback could be. Alex Smith is looking around, particularly at Miami, which could leave San Francisco with Colin Kaepernick and (if they go after him) Josh Johnson. Not exactly an inspiring depth chart that'll strike fear into the hearts of their opponents.
Shockingly, one backup quarterback might be throwing himself at San Francisco. Or something. He seems interested at least if this tweet is any indication.
Vince Young (@VinceYoung) March 19, 2012
Vince Young, eh? This is a guy who hasn't looked particularly good as a starter lately, hasn't looked much better as a backup, and is simply floating around the edges of the league right now. It'd be a strange decision for the 49ers to look at Young.
However, if Smith does end up elsewhere, the 49ers are going to be really looking hard for quarterbacks, and Young might be a potential backup option.
To discuss Young and the 49ers, head on over to Niners Nation.
With Peyton Manning headed to the Denver Broncos, the San Francisco 49ers probably have a top priority to resign Alex Smith to ensure stability at the quarterback position. However, they may have contenders for his services: The Miami Dolphins.
Smith did visit Miami extensively this week and things went pretty well. David Fucillo of Niners Nation has the total report, and it could be good news for the Dolphins or good news for the 49ers.
A couple posts ago, I noticed a comment from NinerFanTuscon in which he said NFL Network reported that Alex Smith is on his way back to the Bay Area without a contract with the Miami Dolphins. Smith flew to Miami early yesterday morning for a meeting and then had his agent Tom Condon fly in for a round of negotiations earlier today. Chris Mortensen indicated on ESPN that Smith really liked Miami and the 49ers might conceivably be prepared to move on without him.
Smith liking the Dolphins is interesting, but it's clear that with no contract in place, Miami still might be a ways off from convincing him to come to South Florida. Meanwhile, with Manning off the table, San Francisco clearly knows its best option is Smith, and the deal they have out there is really great. Plus coming off an NFC Championship appearance, taking a risk and picking Miami for a better deal might not be worth it.
To talk about the Smith situation with 49ers fans, hit up Niners Nation.
According to ESPN's Adam Schefter and Chris Mortensen, the Peyton Manning saga has ended and he will be the next quarterback of the Denver Broncos.
The negotiations have intensified between the team and Manning's agent, Tom Condon.
Schefter tweeted that Manning called John Elway this morning to tell him he's looking forward to coming to play for him and that Manning has informed other teams of his decision.
Manning coming to the Broncos also signals the end of Tebowmania in Denver as the Broncos will look to trade Tim Tebow.
All of this leaves the San Francisco 49ers with the lingering Alex Smith situation. Niners Nation asks that question as well and with the big domino in Manning finally falling, the Niners can figure out what to do with a quarterback they've already shown they'd replace. Now, when that replacement is possibly Manning, it's understandable, but still, Smith is a professional athlete and athletes are prideful.
Let the saga continue...
The offseason quarterback situation for the San Francisco 49ers just keeps getting more and more bizarre and muddled. While the Niners have emerged as a sudden dark horse candidate for Peyton Manning -- and, depending on which analyst you listen to, the current favorite to land him -- incumbent QB and free agent Alex Smith is reportedly negotiating with the Miami Dolphins.
NFL reporter Jason Cole of Yahoo! Sports offered his take on the whole situation on Sunday night. Cole believes that, at this point, Smith would only consider going to the Dolphins if Manning does indeed come to San Francisco. Cole stresses that Smith's desire to play in California is so strong that he would return to the Niners as a starter, even if the Dolphins offered more money. The X-factor in Smith's decision, which should be obvious, will end up being where Manning goes.
Alex Smith seemed to be secure in his spot as San Francisco 49ers quarterback. Well, at least until Peyton Manning became available. Now the 49ers seem to be very much in the running for landing him, which could mean the end of a tumultuous seven year campaign
The Miami Dolphins want a quarterback, and they really wanted Peyton Manning, but now it's likely they might have to settle. With Matt Flynn going to Seattle and Manning looking at all of his options, Smith might become the best possible player available. Mike Klis of the Denver Post reports.
In a seemingly sudden and stunning development, free-agent quarterback Alex Smith is in negotiations with the Miami Dolphins, according to an NFL source.
Smith led the San Francisco 49ers to the NFC championship game last season and although he was a free agent, the assumption through most of the offseason what that he would return.
If Smith ends up with Miami, it would be a pretty shocking turn of events for a quarterback that seemed committed to his team and had a pretty good contract deal in place from San Francisco. It also means the Dolphins don't seem as confident as they were at the beginning of this process to land Manning. Who knows what'll happen now.
The Dolphins lost out on their pursuit of free agent quarterback Matt Flynn on Sunday when he accepted a three-year, $26 million offer from Seattle, including $10 million in guaranteed money.
Flynn's signing does seem to take the wind out of the sails of Smith's visit up to Seattle earlier today. Smith seemed to be a guy that the Seahawks were interested in, but it's not likely to happen now that the team has committed to Flynn.
That has to raise the hopes for Dolphins fans, who really want to bring someone in with free agency, and with Peyton Manning still enigmatic about where he wants to play football next year, Smith not be such a bad option.
To discuss the Flynn signing with Seahawks fans, head on over to Field Gulls. To talk about Smith with 49ers fans, check out Niners Nation. To discuss Smith's interest with the Dolphins, check out the Phinsider.
Barrows claims that a source with knowledge of Smith's travel itinerary noted that he plans to travel to the Seahawks later this week, though the time of the meeting isn't known of yet. The seven year veteran made his first free agent visit of his career to the Dolphins earlier on Sunday.
Smith will almost certainly move on from San Francisco if they sign free agent Peyton Manning, who is said to be making his decision later this week as well. Smith felt there was a discrepancy between the language used by the team (Coach Harbaugh called him a 'elite' player) but gave him a much less than elite contract offer of three years $24 million. He certainly should do his due diligence just as the 49ers have.
For more on this QB situation, make sure you check out Niners Nation.
CSN Bay Area's Matt Maiocco is trying to keep his head from spinning with all of the possible outcomes and projected scenarios for the San Francisco 49ers quarterback situation. Here, Maiocco breaks the 49ers QB conundrum down player-by-player with how their QB landscape currently is panning out.
- - -
Alex Smith: His trip to South Florida on Sunday to meet with the Dolphins is his first career free-agent visit. The Dolphins are also pursuing [Matt] Flynn, though. The 49ers want Manning. But, of course, there is still a chance that Smith returns to the 49ers. Also, the Seahawks could get into the mix. The Seahawks brought in Flynn for a visit. Tarvaris Jackson ended last season as the Seahawks starter. Former 49ers GM Scot McCloughan is a personnel executive with the Seahawks.
Colin Kaepernick: The 49ers are infatuated with Kaepernick's physical tools. But is Kaepernick ready? The 49ers traded up to take him with the 36th overall draft pick last year. Andy Dalton was chosen one spot ahead of him.
Matt Flynn: He has shown to be a capable backup. But his sample size is small. In four seasons, he has two starts. Career stats: 82 of 132 (62.1 percent) for 1,015 yards with nine TDs and five interceptions. He visited the Seattle Seahawks and the Dolphins. The 49ers are not in the mix for Flynn, but his move has an impact on Smith.
Josh Johnson: He has a history with Jim Harbaugh (he was his quarterback at the University of San Diego). But it's clear now that a close relationship with Harbaugh means nothing. As should be the case with any coach, Harbaugh simply wants the best player he can get.
Matt Hasselbeck: If Manning signs with the Titans, Hasselbeck will be cut free. The 49ers wanted -- and thought they were going to sign -- Hasselbeck last summer. They'd probably go after him again if he becomes available.
Scott Tolzien: He spent his rookie season as the 49ers' third quarterback. He'll get a chance in training camp to earn his way back on the roster, but he is not considered starter material just yet.
Got all that? Good.
For more on the 49ers and their quarterback situation, please check out Niners Nation to get your fix.
Alex Smith landed in South Bech Sunday morning, heading over to Miami Dolphins headquarters to talk some shop and possibly join the second professional football team of his seven year career.
A few journalistic types from the South-Florida Sun Sentinel caught up with Smith at the airport, making sure to get a quote from what could be the next Miami Dolphin signal caller:
"This is the NFL," Smith said. "I guess nothing surprises me anymore. I never thought a year ago Manning would be a free agent either. I'm never surprised by anything."
Smith was looking like the incumbent QB in San Francisco until the Niners made their sneaky play on No. 18, essentially sparking a market for Smith overnight. He was offered three years, $24 million from the 49ers, around $8 million a year, though may get something more lucrative from Miami, possibly in tune with Mark Sanchez and Ryan Fitzpatrick who both recently received contracts of five-years plus and at least $20 million guaranteed in each.
The San Francisco 49ers quarterback derby is officially in a tight situation as they could end up with Peyton Manning, Alex Smith, or neither. The 49ers began their pursuit of Manning earlier this week when they put him through a workout and physical in North Carolina. The news leaked on Friday and has been all the rage, with one of the many questions being what this all means for Alex Smith.
Well, now we are getting a better idea. Adam Schefter is reporting Smith is going to Miami today to visit the Dolphins. The Dolphins got into the Peyton Manning sweepstakes early but quickly fell by the wayside. They moved on to pursuing Matt Flynn, but with the Seahawks also in contention, the Dolphins are considering alternatives. One has to wonder if the Seahawks will be in touch with Smith as well since they are no lock for Flynn at this point.
For the 49ers, this creates a bit of a danger zone. If Manning decides to go to Denver or Tennessee and Smith decides he has had it and wants to move on, they are left with Colin Kaepernick starting at QB. They would pursue other options, but they would be in a dicey spot. If Manning went to Tennessee that opens the door for Matt Hasselbeck to come to the Bay Area, but that is no sure thing either. The whole thing gets more dramatic by the moment.
The San Francisco 49ers looked to be having a relatively quiet offseason ... until this past week. The team has suddenly made a flurry of interesting moves, including signing the formerly-retired Randy Moss and supposedly attempting to lure superstar quarterback Peyton Manning. Now it appears as though they've acquired another top-flight wide receiver, perhaps with an eye to pairing him with Manning.
ProFootballTalk reported on Friday night that the 49ers and Mario Manningham have agreed on a two-year deal. Manningham, formerly with the Super Bowl champion New York Giants, was a productive part of a Manning-Manningham touchdown tandem ... although the Manning in question was Peyton's brother, Super Bowl MVP Eli Manning.
The signing will certainly do nothing but fuel the rumors about Peyton coming to San Francisco. Perhaps this was the final piece they needed to convince the free agent QB of their intent to go all the way and build a capable wideout selection for him. This certainly would go a long way toward supporting that theory.
For all news and information regarding the San Francisco 49ers, head on over to Niners Nation.
Most involved with the San Francisco 49ers believed the team was not pursuing Peyton Manning to become their next quarterback, but multiple reports in the last day have indicated the 49ers are very interested in signing Manning.
Not only did they have him come to town for a workout, but a recent story says Jim Harbaugh -- who was quarterback of the Colts before No. 18 came to town -- even threw the ball around with Manning this past week. And according to Steve Young, the 49ers have everything in place to land the future Hall of Famer.
Here is the latest from Pro Football Talk:
... Apparently Harbaugh liked Manning's arm better than his own, because the 49ers emerged from that workout very interested in signing Manning. And Young said on SportsCenter that he believes the 49ers have handled everything exactly the right way, starting with G.M. Trent Baalke quietly laying the groundwork, and are now the favorites to secure Manning's services.
"Trent Baalke laid low, he did the research, Jim Harbaugh threw with Peyton Manning," Young said. "They didn't get in the front pages. They know that they are the best answer for Peyton Manning. They know they have the best defense in the league to offer. They know they have the offensive weapons. They know they have Jim Harbaugh. They know all the pieces in place for Peyton Manning. It is the best opportunity for Peyton Manning. They knew it, and they waited for the wannabes to exhaust themselves, and then they came in right at the end, and that's why I think they'll probably land him at this point."
Young is known to be a bit of a 49ers homer (hey, can you blame him?) and I don't quite believe that San Francisco has locked down Peyton Manning, but he makes a good point; it really is the best situation for the soon-to-be 36-year-old quarterback.
As for a potential timetable for any decision, reports came out Friday evening that Manning would like to decide by Monday or Tuesday. That would be the idea situation for all parties involved, but it will likely take some delicate work to structure Manning's new contract.
"I know Peyton Manning is looking for a team to join now and win a division now and go to the Super Bowl now," Young said. "That's the San Francisco 49ers."
For more on the team and their pursuit of No. 18, check out Niners Nation.
Were you wearing a helmet whilst browsing Twitter or reading up on your San Francisco 49ers news at your favorite sites (like SB Nation Bay Area, yeah?)? If you weren't, it's likely that you're still cleaning up the mess from when the Peyton Manning news blew your mind. It's understandable, that kind of thing happens from time to time. But seriously, it was extremely surprising to see the 49ers linked in such a way.
Which is admittedly kind of odd, given the fact that the 49ers have been touted as a possibility since Manning was released by the Indianapolis Colts. San Francisco boasts what might be the best defense in the NFL, one of the top special teams units in the NFL, and has guys like Frank Gore and Vernon Davis (and now Randy Moss, which means whatever you want it to mean at this point) on offense to work with.
So of course they were noted to be a solid landing spot for Manning. More than that, they're an infinitely better fit for Manning than the Denver Broncos and the Tennessee Titans. It's just so surprising because the 49ers seemed totally ready to march onward with Alex Smith at the helm. Heck, they still probably are, providing the contract talks get settled.
It's unclear if the 49ers and Smith would agree to terms right now if Smith accepted everything they were offering him. It's actually unclear if the 49ers are even offering him anything at this point in the proceedings, given their interest in Manning. To the rest of the NFL, this all makes sense, but to people very close to the 49ers, this all seems like the world has been flip-turned upside down, as Will Smith might say.
This is both a crazy, crazy situation and one that is totally expected and actually quite normal. Manning makes so much sense for the 49ers, while they make so much sense for him in all but one area. That one area? Money.
The 49ers just aren't going to offer as much money as Denver or Tennessee, not by any stretch of the imagination. But Manning is one of the best ever, and his forehead moisturizer is already paid for through his final days. He doesn't need to make another $90 million before he's done with it all. In reality, he probably doesn't really feel that he needs to, either. But if he can, then why the hell not?
While this writer still considers it unlikely that Manning sign with San Francisco, it will certainly be interesting to follow things, to say the least.
The Peyton Manning free agency mania picked up again today as it was reported the San Francisco 49ers are the third team in the race to sign the future Hall-of-Famer. With three teams in the bidding, it's come out that each suitor is moving forward with the assumption that they'll be paying somewhere in the ballpark of Manning's old contract with the Colts.
Per Mike Klis of the Denver Post,
[An] NFL source indicated that all involved teams are comfortable working off Manning's previous contract with the Indianapolis Colts, which was five years for $90 million, or an average of $18 million per year. Additionally, Manning was to receive $61.8 million through the first two years of his contract with the Colts.
This means that, if true, the 'winning' bidder for Manning is looking at a potential $30 million hit or so in each of the first two years of Manning's contract, which is a pretty scary number regardless of a team's cap space.
For more on the Niners chances to sign Peyton, head over to Niners Nation.
We've got an ongoing saga in San Francisco that just made the free agency period a whole lot more interesting for the 49ers. That saga pertains to quarterback Peyton Manning and the fact that the 49ers are in pursuit of his services. You'll hear many things from many people, with ranging opinions on the actual validity of their pursuit, the intensity of said pursuit, and how likely or unlikely it may be for said pursuit to be successful.
This writer agrees with some and disagrees with a lot more, but let's get to the simple point: I doubt Manning is coming to San Francisco and I believe Alex Smith will be under contract and playing for the 49ers in 2012. But there are some other opinions out there, that are not necessarily related to the plausibility of things - opinions that are definitely worth highlighting. One of those comes from Matt Barrows, 49ers beat writer for the Sacramento Bee.
Barrows thinks that there's no way that Smith comes out of this who saga, regardless how it ends, "unscathed." He suggests that there's "trouble in paradise," and says that Smith's stature in the organization is diminished by the Manning news.
It's a respectable opinion, noteworthy because Barrows himself is respectable and a great asset on the 49ers beat. But it's one I disagree with entirely. Let's take a look at a couple things here. For one, if the 49ers are in pursuit of Manning because Smith isn't budging on his numbers and they've decided they can no longer negotiate (as per Jed York suggesting that the ball is in Smith's court on Monday), that's not something rare in the NFL, or any sport. That's just simple business, and Smith is far from the egomaniac who will be too hurt to move forward.
Nobody's imagination could have led them to thinking that Jim Harbaugh and the 49ers' desire to retain Smith (along with all of their buttery words and ass-kissing during the lockout) would actually equate to signing a blank far before push could ever come to shove. Players think they're more valuable than they are all the time.
For two, regardless of Smith negotiations, it's Peyton Manning. This isn't Mark Sanchez and this isn't Jay Cutler we're talking about - Smith is far more mature than the both of them. He's not going to cry about the fact that the 49ers are interested in one of the greatest quarterbacks ever. And it's not even similar to a situation in which a team "had" it's quarterback and then explored upgrades. Smith wasn't under contract because he didn't come to terms with the 49ers.
I guess my main point is that Smith is a smart guy, and a very reasonable guy. Before the lockout, he was saying there were no chances of him coming back to San Francisco. If he has yet to actually get close to divorcing the 49ers after all they've been through, he's not going to because they tried to sign Peyton Manning. He is not, by any stretch of the imagination, weakened. In my opinion.
In hindsight, that little joke might have been a little bit of foreshadowing, as the 49ers have now been outed as the third horse in the race for Peyton Manning, along with the Titans and Broncos. With rumors circulating that Manning may be asking for upwards of $60 million in the first two years of his contract, some fans may be rightfully concerned with his ability to throw the football. Don't worry, Bronco's GM John Elway put our minds at ease today.
We enjoyed visiting with Peyton today in N.C. He threw the ball great and looked very comfortable out there.— John Elway (@johnelway) March 16, 2012
Watching him throw today was the next step in this important process for our team and Peyton. It was a productive visit and went well.— John Elway (@johnelway) March 16, 2012
For more on the Niners chances to sign Peyton, head over to Niners Nation.
Before he threw a single pass for John Elway and the Denver Broncos, Peyton Manning had reportedly already worked out and took a physical for the San Francisco 49ers in a super sneaky workout and meetings in Durham, North Carolina earlier this week according to ESPN.
Both offensive coordinator Greg Roman and head coach Jim Harbaugh were in attendance for the workout Tuesday at Duke University, who described it to an ESPN source as 'very impressive.' They then asked for a follow up physical, getting Manning checked out on Wednesday in the Durham area as well.
Peyton still has to meet with delegates from the Tennessee Titans before he really starts to sit down and make some decisions, though he's visited the Broncos and Cardinals already. Some unconfirmed developments such as the Seattle Seahawks parking a jet in Denver in a failed attempt to visit with No. 18 have occurred as well, according to ESPN's sources.
For more on the Niners chances to sign Peyton, head over to Niners Nation.
Well, according to ESPN's Chris Mortensen Manning had a workout for Jim Harbaugh and the 49ers this week, and even took a physical for them, effectively joining the race late. But late is always better than never:
Filed to ESPN: Third team in Manning race that has emerged is49ers - Manning worked out for Harbaugh &took physical this week #NFL32— Chris Mortensen (@mortreport) March 16, 2012
This would clear up some of the confusion of Alex Smith's contract status as well, as the team has basically put signing Smith on the back burner (or off the heat completely) while quietly making a play on No. 18. From his other suitors in Tennessee and Denver, the 49ers would be leaps and bounds the most talented team he could join, and with all the cap space they've been opening up, the numbers could line up just right to land him.
For more on the possibility of Manning as a 49er, head over to Niners Nation to get in on the action.
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