49ers

Manning makes no sense for 49ers with Smith, Kaepernick around

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Manning makes no sense for 49ers with Smith, Kaepernick around

The 49ers plan to improve their quarterback position for next season. And they don't believe they have to make any big acquisitions for that to happen.Coach Jim Harbaugh reaffirmed on Monday he wants quarterback Alex Smith back on the team next season. League sources have told CSNBayArea.com they expect the 49ers and Smith to eventually agree on a two- or three-year contract worth 8 million to 11 million a year.Because of the lockout, Harbaugh and his staff did not work with Smith or rookie Colin Kaepernick during the offseason.
Smith turned in his best NFL season with career-bests in completion percentage (61.4), yards passing (3,150), touchdown-interception margin (17 to 5) and passer rating (90.7). Of course, he also started every game as the 49ers won the NFC West with a 13-3 record.RELATED: Alex Smith 2011 game logs
With the opportunity to remain in the same offense -- regardless of whether offensive coordinator Greg Roman is back -- both Smith and Kaepernick should have a better grasp of the system for the 2012 season.That's why it is unrealistic for the 49ers to invest greatly in another quarterback. They'll pay Smith like a starter, and he'll be only 28 years old next season. And they traded up in the second round a year ago to pick Kaepernick. They're leaving the door open for Kaepernick for the future, too.Peyton Manning's future is uncertain with the Indianapolis Colts, who are expected to select quarterback Andrew Luck with the No. 1 overall pick. But don't look for Manning, who turns 36 in March and missed this season with a neck injury, to have any chance of ending up with the 49ers.

Still unconvinced there is a place for Kaepernick in a new and nastier NFL

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AP

Still unconvinced there is a place for Kaepernick in a new and nastier NFL

I hadn’t considered the notion of Jacksonville quarterback Blake Bortles bombing quite so badly Thursday night, so I hadn’t considered the notion advanced by Pro Football Talk Friday morning that Jacksonville might be a great place for Colin Kaepernick.

That’s because I long ago stopped considering the idea that Kaepernick’s exile from football was, or is, about football. It isn’t. He is the example for future player/miscreants, and trotting his name out every time a quarterback in the new NFL vomits up a practice game on national television is simply perpetuating a lie.

Until someone gets so desperate that it isn’t any more.

That’s the problem with being so definitive about Kaepernick’s perpetual ban. It only takes one owner with a willingness to stick a middle finger up to the objections and say, “I own a football team, not some branch of the USO” to end this national spitfest once and for all. And yes, I say owner because this is an owner’s decision, solely and completely. In the hypothetical of Kaepernick the Jaguar, it will be made not by Doug Marrone, who is merely a coach, or by Tom Coughlin, who is only the general manager, but Shahid Khad, one of the brightest and quietly more powerful owners in the league.

But the odds still scream No Kaep For You, because it would mean that exhibition games matter for judgmental purposes (which they don’t), that Bortles is somehow worse than half the quarterbacks in the NFL (he is part of an amorphous blob of non-producers whose numbers are growing as the differences between college and pro football offenses expand), and that owners easily break away from the herd once the herd has decided on something (Khan is not a rebel in the Jerry Jones mold by any means).

In other words, I remain unconvinced that there is a place for Colin Kaepernick in a new and nastier NFL. And he’s probably better off.

Zuttah ends up back with Ravens after release from 49ers

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AP

Zuttah ends up back with Ravens after release from 49ers

One week after center Jeremy Zuttah played his way off the 49ers’ roster in short order, he ended up back with the team that got rid of him to open the offseason.

The Baltimore Ravens on Friday announced the signing of Zuttah, whom the 49ers released on Aug. 9 after acquiring him from the Ravens in a March trade.

The 49ers determined center Daniel Kilgore was clearly better than Zuttah. Moreover, Zuttah he did not demonstrate any promise of being an asset at either of the guard positions.

Zuttah, 31, played the past three seasons with the Ravens after six seasons with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Zuttah was named to his first Pro Bowl after last season.

The 49ers originally acquired Zuttah in a swap of sixth-round draft picks. The Ravens received the 49ers’ pick at No. 186 and selected Virginia Tech safety Chuck Clark. The 49ers took over Baltimore’s selection at No. 198 and chose Mississippi defensive tackle D.J. Jones.

The 49ers are confident in Kilgore and offensive tackles Joe Staley and Trent Brown. However, there is concern at the guard positions.

Brandon Fusco appears to be earning the confidence of the coaching staff at right guard. But left guard remains a concern. Zane Beadles is currently the starter while Joshua Garnett rehabs from arthroscopic knee surgery to repair cartilage. The 49ers are hopeful Garnett will be available for the opening of the regular season.