49ers Blog and Q&A

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

March 18, 2012
Source: Alex Smith to visit Seahawks

smithHarbs.jpg

Miami isn't the only team Alex Smith is visiting. According to a source familiar with Smith's itinerary, the free-agent quarterback also plans to visit the Seattle Seahawks this week. It is not known exactly when the visit will take place. That, of course, raises the possibility that the long-time 49ers quarterback could face his former team twice a season. The Seahawks approached Smith last season before he signed a one-year deal with the 49ers.

Smith almost assuredly would leave the 49ers if they were to sign another free-agent, Peyton Manning, who is expected to announce his decision later this week. But there is a growing sense that Smith may not be back even if Manning goes elsewhere.

Smith, according to sources, is upset at the 49ers, perhaps not because the monetary offer they made him - reportedly $24 million over three years - but because of the job security it provides. Smith felt the 49ers made a commitment to him as their future starter that was not reflected in the contract offer.

Smith is extremely level headed, he is close to many 49ers players and he has said repeatedly that he wants to remain in San Francisco. He ultimately may conclude that the 49ers offer the best opportunity to start should Manning go elsewhere. The Seahawks have last year's starter, Tarvaris Jackson, on the roster and Smith likely would have to compete with him for a starting job if he signed there. The Dolphins have Matt Moore, and they also are interested in free agents Matt Flynn and David Garrard. The Seahawks also are interested in Flynn.

Then again, Smith's seven-year career in San Francisco has been as rocky as any quarterback's has been. It seemed Smith had weathered one storm after another and finally found a supportive and knowledgeable head coach in Jim Harbaugh. But it now appears if that relationship, too, is strained.

The 49ers, meanwhile, went through the 2011 season with two rookies, Colin Kaepernick and Scott Tolzien, behind Smith. The 49ers traded up in the second round last year to grab Kaepernick.

-- 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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