It's a sentiment he said he has shared with Smith, who is scheduled for free agency after signing a one-year, 4.9 million contract with the 49ers in July.
"I've told Alex that," Harbaugh said. "I wouldn't tell you (the media) something I wouldn't tell Alex.
"I told Alex, 'Hey, we're going to want you to come back here next year.' He's focused on the season, and that's where his mindset wants to be. And I totally respect that, and we'll talk about it and address it once the season is over. That's the way I understand it right now."