Source: Smith in middle of QB leverage battle

Source: Smith in middle of QB leverage battle
March 18, 2012, 8:05 pm
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If quarterback Alex Smith signed the 49ers' three-year, 24 million offer from the 49ers a week ago, the 49ers would have their quarterback and Smith would have a job for the 2012 season.Now, the 49ers do not have a starting quarterback and Smith's NFL future is in limbo.An NFL source told CSNBayArea.com on Sunday that Smith has nobody to blame but himself for presenting the 49ers with an opening to pursue free-agent Peyton Manning."It was in Smith's best interest to sign that deal a week, 10 days ago," said the source.Now, Smith finds himself in the middle of a leverage battle that involves the Miami Dolphins and Seattle Seahawks. The Dolphins felt all along they would sign free-agent quarterback Matt Flynn. Now, they're getting nervous, the source said.MAIOCCO: Moving parts aplenty in 49ers' QB drama
Flynn is looking for the kind of contract Kevin Kolb signed a year ago with the Arizona Cardinals -- five years, 63 million with 21 million guaranteed. Neither the Seahawks nor Dolphins plan to commit that much money to Flynn, a four-year veteran with two career starts.
Flynn visited the Seahawks and Dolphins on back-to-back days, Friday and Saturday. Flynn could be the first domino to fall. Whichever team does not sign Flynn will then turn its attention to Smith.Smith is expected to visit the Seahawks this week, said another source, confirming a Sacramento Bee report.RELATED: Smith has visit lined up with SeahawksBut Smith is not expected to attract a contract from the Dolphins or Seahawks that is more lucrative than what the 49ers offered, the source said. Plus, the team that signs Smith is also likely to invest a high draft pick on a quarterback, the source said.Miami has the eighth overall pick, while the Seahawks are slated to select No. 12 overall.Whether the 49ers end up with Manning or Smith, the organization would not look to add a quarterback early in the draft. The 49ers traded up last year to select Colin Kaepernick with a second-round pick.The 49ers were not willing to offer Smith a lucrative contract with sizable guaranteed money because the team wants to keep the door open for Kaepernick to take over as the starter in the near future.The 49ers, Denver Broncos and Tennessee Titans are the remaining contenders to sign Manning.Manning has not informed the 49ers -- or the other teams -- about his time frame for making a decision, a source told CSNBayArea.com. Manning has acted unilaterally, the source said, and agent Tom Condon is not intimately involved in Manning's process. Condon also represents Smith.

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