49ers QB options at a glance

March 18, 2012, 10:51 pm
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Free-agent quarterback Alex Smith spent his Sunday with the Miami Dolphins, a team that swung and missed on Peyton Manning and took a called third strike on free-agent Matt Flynn.People around these parts have little interest in what's happening with the Dolphins. Except that if the Dolphins were to express aggressive interest in Smith, it could shape what the 49ers do this season at the quarterback position.The 49ers placed an offer on the table for Smith some time ago. Smith did not sign it. Then, the 49ers began their pursuit of Manning, who has not told any of the contending teams when they can expect a decision, a league source told CSNBayArea.com on Sunday.So if Smith were to go back to the 49ers with the intention of accepting the 49ers' three-year, 24 million contract, he would then be putting the ball in the 49ers' court. Does their offer to Smith still stand while Peyton Manning remains a possibility? The answer to that question is not known.The 49ers' options at quarterback are. . . --Complete the Smith contract. Using Matt Flynn's sparkling new three-year contract with the Seattle Seahawks as a measuring stick, the 49ers probably don't feel inclined to alter their offer to Smith. The 49ers and Smith can decide to put this mess behind them and move on with the 2012 season. The pursuit for Peyton would end at the exact moment Smith signs a multi-year extension. The 49ers aren't going to have two quarterbacks paid as starters. After all, Manning's contract is expected to reach 18 million to 23 million annually, a source said.RELATED: Alex Smith's career stats
--Wait for the Manning decision, and hope like heck he signs on to play for the 49ers. As previously reported here, Manning is working unilaterally on his decision. Agent Tom Condon, who also represents Smith, is not part of the process. A league source told CSNBayArea.com that Condon cannot be leading Smith in any direction based on Manning's mindset because Condon does not know which way Manning is leaning.RELATED: Peyton Manning's career stats
--The 49ers will hold the door open for Smith if Manning goes to Denver or Tennessee.--But if Smith signs quickly with the Dolphins (and Mike Klis of the Denver Post reports the sides are negotiating) and Manning goes elsewhere, the 49ers will have other options, too:1) If Manning signs with the Titans, the 49ers can go after veteran quarterback Matt Hasselbeck, whom they thought they were going to sign a year ago. Then, Hasselbeck and Colin Kaepernick would compete for the starting job;RELATED: Matt Hasselbeck career stats
2) If Manning signs with the Broncos, the 49ers would likely sign Josh Johnson -- about the only quarterback left on the market. Then, Kaepernick and Johnson would compete for the job.