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February 21, 2013
Dinner for three: Baalke met with Alex Smith to discuss options

AlexHarbaughBack.jpg

INDIANAPOLIS -- All options remain on the table regarding Alex Smith and the 49ers, general manager Trent Baalke said from the scouting combine today.

Baalke said he had a dinner with Smith and his wife, Elizabeth, in the Bay Area after the Super Bowl during which both parties talked about their priorities this offseason. Baalke, of course, declined to get into specifics about the conversation, but he said it was a priority for the organization to handle the situation as delicately as possible.

"I had a great conversation with him," Baalke said. "He expressed his feelings, and I expressed our feelings. And that's as far as I'm going to take it."

The 49ers are expected to try to trade Smith, who started the first nine games of the season, when the new league year begins March 12. The 49ers also could release Smith - which is Smith's preference - at any point. The 49ers will owe Smith the entirety of his $8.5 million salary on April 1, and they will have to make a decision by then.

Baalke refused to be pinned down on any one outcome. "Are we going to trade him for sure?" he said. "No, that hasn't been decided."

Is it a priority that Smith go somewhere outside the division? "No, that was not discussed," Baalke said. "Once again, the conversation that we had was a private conversation. We went out, had a nice dinner, had a great conversation, and we're going to leave it at that."

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As for another Smith ... Baalke said Justin Smith had successful surgery to repair his torn triceps at Stanford Hospital. "It went as expected," he said. "It went really well. It should be a short rehab for him, and he should be back to normal. "

Baalke said Smith would be on hand for the start of training camp in late July.

- 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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