Alex Smith Signs Three-Year Deal, Will Stay In San Francisco
By Ryan Schuler
March 26, 2012 (La Mesa) --After the San Francisco 49ers entered the Peyton Manning sweepstakes, it was expected that free agent quarterback Alex Smith (La Mesa, Calif./Helix High School) would pack his bags and move on from the only franchise he has ever known. Maybe it would be the Miami Dolphins, where he would reunite with former Helix teammate Reggie Bush. That was not case.
The former No. 1 overall pick and the 49ers have agreed to a three-year contract that will pay Smith $8 million per season with $16.5 million guaranteed according to a person with knowledge of the contract. It is said that Smith’s deal could pay him up to $33 million.
Smith re-signed a day after the Denver Broncos introduced Manning as their new starting quarterback. San Francisco head coach Jim Harbaugh and general manager Trent Baalke notified Smith that the team was in fact pursuing Manning.
“Not offended at all,” Smith said. “I would have relished the opportunity to compete for the starting quarterback job with Peyton Manning. I feel like I’ve been through way worse than this. Free agency is always going to be a little crazy, maybe this year more than most. You get to a point you stop worrying about that stuff.”
Smith, 27, met with Miami for several hours on Sunday, but ultimately chose to stay with the celebrated franchise. After Smith led the 49ers to the NFC championship game last season before losing to the eventual Super Bowl Champion New York Giants, both sides said they planned to work out a new deal. That was before Manning came into the picture and stalled a new deal.
After being booed by hometown fans for years, Smith flourished last season under Harbaugh. Smith threw for 3,150 yards and 17 touchdowns against only five interceptions.
“We are pleased that Alex has chosen to continue his career as a 49er,” Baalke said. “His contributions were instrumental to our success in 2011, and we look forward to the continued growth of our offense under his leadership.”