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49ers CEO York wants to hold on to QB Smith

The SportsXchange

San Francisco 49ers CEO Jed York is hoping to keep backup quarterback Alex Smith next season despite Smith's expressed desire to move on to a team where he has a shot at being a starter.

Second-year pro Colin Kaepernick replaced Smith as the 49ers starter in November and will lead the team into the Super Bowl on Sunday against Baltimore.

"From a cap standpoint, we have the room to be able to keep (Smith)," York told ProFootballTalk.com. "One quarterback is usually not enough to get you through a season.

"And to have two guys, which the Niners had in Steve (Young) and Joe (Montana) for a long time, there's no reason why you can't have two guys on your team. And I hope we can find a way to make that happen."

York said he isn't sure what the 49ers will do if Smith asks to be released after the Super Bowl.

"He hasn't made the request yet, and that's something we'll assess at end of the season," York said in the interview with ProFootballTalk.com. "I think Alex has been very clear, he's been very upfront, he's been very professional throughout this whole thing.

"And I think Alex deserves the opportunity and figure out what he wants to do at the end of the season."

York still believes Smith, 28, whose concussion during the season led to Kaepernick taking over the job, has a lot of football left in him.

"And whether Alex is playing for us or he's playing somewhere else next year, Alex has another 10 to 15 years to play in the National Football League because he was safe and he didn't put himself in a position where he ended his career early," York said.
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