Friday, February 22, 2013

Harbaugh: Alex Smith won’t be released


Jim Harbaugh said he thought his team had the best quarterback situation in the league, and he’s either going to keep it that way, or get something for it.

Harbaugh just said it was “unlikely” the 49ers would release quarterback Alex Smith, meaning he’s either confident he can find a trade partner, or would be content keeping him as Colin Kaepernick’s backup.

Smith at $8.5 million is too much for a backup, but for many teams, he’d be an affordable upgrade as a starter.

With a draft class of quarterbacks that no one can make up their mind about, Smith might be a safer bet than the rookies, and not so prohibitively expensive to make him a burden.

But Harbaugh also left open the possibility of keeping Smith, in an effort to maintain leverage.

“We think we’ve got the best quarterback situation,” in the league, adding after a pause: “We feel strongly about that.”

While that might be a stretch, they do have an asset, and Harbaugh is working hard to maximize it.

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