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San Francisco 49ers Not Interested in Peyton Manning, Have ‘Offer on the Table’ to Alex Smith: Fan’s Take
Now that Peyton Manning is free to negotiate with any teams, at least a half-dozen NFL franchises are possibly considering the 35-year-old quarterback. Even after the urging by San Francisco 49ers legend Jerry Rice, the team is not interested in signing one of the best quarterbacks in the game (when healthy).
A salary cap-saving move for the Indianapolis Colts that ushers in a new rebuilding era with likely 2012 NFL Draft No. 1 pick Andrew Luck, Manning leaves the team after a 14-year run with four MVP awards and a Super Bowl title. After undergoing career-threatening spinal fusion surgery in September 2011, Manning missed all of last season and is still a health concern for the 2012 season assuming he signs on with another team.
Despite the comments by Rice and the shared feelings among many fans, the 49ers, according to a well-placed source to CSNBayArea.com, already have an "offer on the table" to schedule free agent Alex Smith. Since the start of last season and proven time and time again throughout the season, coach Jim Harbaugh has had his eyes set on Smith claiming he "is our guy" with the 49ers and is someone they would like to re-sign to a multi-year deal.
While it would be a dream for many fans and San Francisco supporters to see Manning in a 49ers uniform in 2012 and beyond, it is quite unreasonable to believe it would happen. Despite being just a game away from this year's Super Bowl, general manager Trent Baalke is "very comfortable" with Smith as their starter and Colin Kaepernick and Scott Tolzien as his backups. The 49ers are also not the only team to possibly have interest for the All-Pro quarterback, as the Arizona Cardinals, Miami Dolphins, New York Jets, Seattle Seahawks and Washington Redskins are all teams that will pursue Manning.
In an interview on KNBR, Baalke said the following: "We haven't had Peyton in here nor are we even talking about those things internally right now. Is he going to play? I don't know. That's for the doctors to make the decision on and for him."
Even though Smith has proven to be a more than capable quarterback for Harbaugh, offensive coordinator Greg Roman, and the 49ers, bringing Manning in would force some adjustments by everyone involved with the team. Due to his wavering health condition, there is no guarantee that Manning can return to his high level of play.
While the pieces are in place for a successful Manning regime in San Francisco (workhorse running back in Frank Gore, great pass-catching tight end Vernon Davis, possible big-name free agent wide receiver like Vincent Jackson of the San Diego Chargers or Mike Wallace of the Pittsburgh Steelers, offensive-minded coaching staff in Harbaugh and Roman), it would be a risk for the team to bring in Manning because of his age, health, and franchise-altering commitment to a player that transformed the Colts franchise for nearly a decade and a half.
Jerry Rice says the 49ers should pursue Peyton Manning if he becomes a free agent, Bay Area News Group
San Francisco won't pursue Manning, NFL.com
49ers make offer to Smith, not interested in Manning, CSNBayArea.com
Thoughts of Manning as 49er never took off locally, CSNBayArea.com
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Austin Chang is a lifelong football fan, San Francisco 49ers supporter, and a Featured Contributor for the Yahoo! Contributor Network. Follow this contributor on Twitter @_austinchang.
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