Peyton Manning, Alex Smith & The 49ers: Personal Vs. Business

Editors Note: Kevin Lynch Tweeted that Alex Smith was looking into hiring a new agent. This is unsurprising, given the circumstances of dual representation for Smith and Manning by Tom Condon.

The barely two day old drama that is the 49ers reported pursuit of Peyton Manning has everyone in a tizzy about all sorts of issues. The injury issue and the contract issue were the two most prominent initially, but there is also the Alex Smith issue. There has been some discussion over the past few months about who is a better fit for the offense, but this is not about that part of things.

Rather, this comes more based on Monte Poole's article this morning titled, "Adding Peyton Manning might excite San Francisco 49ers fans but sends a bad message to players." It addresses issues of loyalty and the risk of bringing in Peyton Manning. According to Poole, signing guys like Manning and Moss brings with it an element of risk. More pointedly, he says that signing Manning would put Harbaugh's integrity on the line.

There is something to be said about loyalty and the relationship we've seen between Jim Harbaugh and Alex Smith. At the same time, Harbaalke have made it quite clear that they will look for the options that provide the best opportunity for long-termed success. At the same time, the front office can't just ignore the players and treat them like crap. That kind of thing will get around the league and hurt teams in the free agency hunt.

In the case of Peyton Manning and Alex Smith, some of these articles about the mental impact on Alex Smith are potentially making assumptions about what has been discussed between the 49ers and Alex. It is not surprising some are assuming the worst, but has there been anything specific to indicate the 49ers have not kept Alex in the loop? I could be entirely wrong and Alex Smith is getting completely hosed in all this. The 49ers current front office and coaching staff have generally struck me as professional, but without being behind the scenes, who knows what is what at this point.

Of course, the potential worst case scenario could still unfold. 1) Peyton Manning decides on Tennessee or Denver (or anybody other than the 49ers) and 2) Alex Smith has in fact felt spurned by the front office and Coach Harbaugh and decides to go somewhere else. That leaves the 49ers with Colin Kaepernick, Scott Tolzien and plenty of cap space to spend. It's not an ideal situation, but the worst case is not necessarily awful. It leaves a ton of question marks, but I'd like to think there are worst positions in which to be (no cap space and/or no QB on the roster the team moved up to get the previous year).

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