49’ers quarterback Alex Smith came out of nowhere last season for first year head coach Jim Harbaugh, and led the team to the brink of the Super Bowl before losing to the Giants in the NFC Title game.
Smith, who threw for 3144 yards, 17 touchdowns and just five picks, is a free agent, and could wind up in another uniform if the Niners and he don’t come to terms by March 13th.
Harbaugh told Jason LaCanfora on Thursday though that the team has every intention of having Smith back in 2012 and beyond, and couldn’t say enough good things about the QB while at the 2012 NFL Scouting Combine.
“He’s our guy, and the thing I love about Alex is he’s a real great player and a real smart guy and a great leader,” Harbaugh said. “He’s also got a chip on his shoulder that you don’t notice very often because of his nature.
“Tough, rough competitor, he’s our leader and he’s a 49er.”
The question now – do the Niners and Smith have enough of those same feelings to make a deal get done quick and smooth before free agency hits? It was thought last season when the team drafted Colin Kaepernick in the 2nd round that Smith’s days were just about numbered, but now it seems like it’s a shoe-in that Smith will be back in San Fran in 2012.