Harbaugh wishes Smith 'fresh start' with 49ers

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Harbaugh wishes Smith 'fresh start' with 49ers

Feb. 24, 2011MAIOCCO ARCHIVE49ERS PAGE 49ERS VIDEOMatt MaioccoCSNBayArea.comINDIANAPOLIS -- Quarterback Alex Smith has one week remaining until his service to the 49ers expires.New 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh said he hopes Smith decides to remain with the team that selected him with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2005 draft. And Harbaugh says he can offer Smith a change of scenery by remaining with the 49ers.
"I'm hopeful that Alex, as an unrestricted free agent, will choose that his next team to play with, the fresh start, is with the San Francisco 49ers," Harbaugh said Thursday at the NFL scouting combine.The 49ers and Smith's agent, Tom Condon, have spoken about a new contract. "The talks are going on," Harbaugh said. But a source close to the situation said Smith has expressed a desire to test the free-agent market before making any decision.
The 49ers hold negotiating rights on Smith through March 3. After that -- when there's a new collective bargaining agreement -- Smith would be free to sign with any team."I'm on record as saying I very much like Alex," Harbaugh said. "I like being around Alex. I've had a lot of opportunity to be around him."I've had a lot of opportunity to evaluate the tape. I think he's a very good football player. That being said, we're going to make the decision to bring in the best quarterbacks we possible can and have them compete for the starting quarterback job."

Seahawks lose All-Pro S Earl Thomas for season

Seahawks lose All-Pro S Earl Thomas for season

RENTON, Wash. -- The Seattle Seahawks will be without safety Earl Thomas for the rest of the season due to his broken lower left leg, no matter how far the team advances in the playoffs.

Coach Pete Carroll said Monday that further examination determined Thomas' fractured left tibia will require a recovery time that does not allow for the possibility of a return during the 2016 season. Carroll said after Sunday's 40-7 win over Carolina that Thomas' injury usually takes a minimum of six weeks of recovery time.

It's the first major injury of Thomas' career. He played 106 straight games before missing Seattle's loss at Tampa Bay last week with a hamstring injury. He quickly recovered to play against the Panthers, but was hurt in a second-quarter collision with teammate Kam Chancellor going for an interception.

Former 49ers coach Mike Nolan supports Trent Baalke over Chip Kelly

Former 49ers coach Mike Nolan supports Trent Baalke over Chip Kelly

Mike Nolan coached the 49ers for three full seasons before he was fired after Week 7 in his fourth year at the helm.

On Monday morning, he was asked about the situation in Santa Clara and if he would make a change at head coach or general manager.

"It's sad that it's gone to where it is," Nolan said on 95.7 The Game. "They're beginning to look much like when I took the job over in 2005 ... and there really was not a lot of good personnel on the team.

"The difference though that is better and will continue to be better, they will be (in) a much better cap situation going forward than we ever were back then ... but the losing I should say is really killing them.

"The personnel is not as bad as they're playing and that's the thing that really gets under your skin as a coach because you're frustrated by what's going on ... the thing that I have thought most of the season when people were talking about changes as the losses started to mount up, was not to change it. Because I know Trent (Baalke) personally, and Trent does a good job with personnel and that's his primary job.

"But for a lot of strange reasons -- guys retiring, guys quitting a couple years ago, just a lot of weird things that occurred -- their roster has kind of fallen off a little bit, but it is still a much better roster than some of these other teams that are not winning."

After winning their Week 1 game against the Rams, the 49ers have lost a franchise-record 11 straight games.

Chip Kelly is under contract through 2019 and the team owes Jim Tomsula $7 million over the next two years combined.

Baalke's contract runs through 2018.

"It's about players first and I think they have the right guy in place to pick the players but unfortunately for Trent, I think the choice of Tomsula hurt him and currently right now with Chip Kelly it's not helping him either," Nolan added. "They do not have a bad roster.

"Obviously they need a quarterback. They could be a .500 team in my opinion if they get a quarterback as near as next year even ... they got a tough decision to make at the end."