San Francisco 49ers Say No to Jerry Rice, Peyton Manning and Yes to Alex Smith
This seems like a direct response to Jerry Rice's recent comments, where he said the 49ers should seek to acquire Manning's services in 2012:
I think you go for it. A guy of that talent, you've got everything in place. You've got a defense that smacks you in the mouth. You just need a little more out of the offense. That's not knocking what Alex (Smith) did. (Manning) can take you to a whole different level.
La Canfora also reports the 49ers have an offer on the table and are waiting for a response from Smith's agent, Tom Condon, who, ironically, is Manning's agent as well.
This is good news as far as I'm concerned.
Alex Smith showed vast improvement in his first season under head coach Jim Harbaugh, leading the team to the NFC Championship Game. And all the signs point to even greater improvement for Smith and the 49ers offense in 2012 as the entire group begins to truly soak up the playbook until executing it becomes second nature.
This news brings us back to where we were only a couple of days ago before Matt Maiocco's post on Smith's contract and why it may be taking so long to complete: The 49ers need to focus on landing a premier wideout to complement Michael Crabtree.
There isn't a more pressing need for the 49ers than this.
As it stands right now, the offense is too compressed. There isn't enough of a threat to go downfield in the passing game, and teams are able to stack the box and stuff the run (49ers still ended up with the league's eighth-best rushing attack in 2011, but I digress).
My personal favorite to occupy that roster spot is Pittsburgh Steelers' Mike Wallace. I wrote a post a couple of weeks ago about how he's a perfect fit for the team, and you can read about it here.
This news also means 49ers fans can come back down to earth after fantasizing for a day about the possibility of pairing Manning with the indomitable defense of the 49ers, led by Patrick Willis and Justin Smith.
It was fun while it lasted.
Now it is time to get back to reality.
As much as most of you will likely disagree with me here, GM Trent Baalke is making the right choice here.
I'm not suggesting for a second that Smith is anywhere near the kind of quarterback a healthy Manning is, but the 49ers are dedicated to building a sustainable franchise and won't be tempted by a potential big splash as a shortcut to success.
The 49ers will continue to build through the draft, making prudent decisions in free agency and making sure they don't stretch themselves too thin by overpaying a superstar.
This news makes me...
Free agents don't win championships. Teams win championships.
I hope you all remember that the reason for the success the 49ers experienced last year was that they were a tight team. Smith was their leader and they rallied around him.
Chemistry should account for something, and I for one am glad the 49ers chemistry remains intact.
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