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News, notes and reader questions about the San Francisco 49ers

March 20, 2012
Harbaugh & Smith: "It's a strong relationship as always"

smith-harbaugh.jpg

"It's a strong relationship as always," Jim Harbaugh said Tuesday when asked where things stand with quarterback Alex Smith, who is closing in on a three-year deal with the team.

Harbaugh and Smith met yesterday for about an hour and they spoke again today. Harbaugh would not comment when asked whether Smith's contract was indeed complete, as has been reported by NFL Network. "Based on experience, it's never wise, it never benefits anybody concerned to discuss negotiations, contracts in the media," Harbaugh said as he was leaving team headquarters.

A league source cautioned that while the deal with Smith was very close to completion, it was not yet finalized and may not be until Wednesday. Smith's agent, Tom Condon, was in Denver today for Peyton Manning's press conference.

Smith obviously was not pleased with the team's contract offer, which has been on the table for more than two weeks. And it's hard to imagine he was happy when the 49ers began pursuing Peyton Manning. Still, Harbaugh, who lavished praise on Smith all of last season, said that Smith was still "his guy" going forward.

"Nothing's changed," Harbaugh said.

-- Matt Barrows



MATTHEW BARROWS

Matt was born in Blacksburg, Va., and attended the University of Virginia. He graduated in 1995, went to Northwestern for a journalism degree a year later, and got his first job at a South Carolina daily in 1997. He joined The Bee as a Metro reporter in 1999 and started covering the 49ers in 2003. His favorite player of all time is Darrell Green.

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