Should the San Francisco 49ers Stir the Pot with Peyton Manning to Leverage Alex Smith?

The big headline yesterday ws the official announcement and release of Peyton Manning from the Indianapolis Colts after 14 years of service. Right now, Manning is the hottest free agent to the market in recent history by a long shot, and teams will be chomping at the bit for his services.

It was also reported today, and to no surprise, that the 49ers currently have an offer on the table for Alex Smith. And while of course the realists out there in Niners Nation don't even entertain the fact of Manning starting for San Francisco next year, I wouldn't be opposed to creating some sort of smokescreen while Smith is contract-less.

Honestly, I thought Smith's deal was going to be done already but it had been reported that Smith and his agent Tom Condon may be holding out for a deal along the lines of what Ryan Fitzpatrick got mid-way through last season in Buffalo. It's not that I don't think the 49ers should pay Smith, but I don't agree with him getting greedy after one above average year.

With Manning out there and free to sign already, I don't see the harm in allowing some rumors to surface so Smith snaps back to reality and inks on the dotted line. The Niners were rumored to be looking to offer Smith a 3 or 4-year deal, but Smith is looking for 5-plus years and more money. Manning is a guy who has less of a career left than Smith, and considering all the moving parts and potential of pairing Manning with the 49ers defense, I think Smith might rethink what's really important.

It's not that I'm pulling for Manning to San Francisco, but quarterback wasn't supposed to be an issue the 49ers were spending a lot of time on this offseason. They need time to prepare for the draft and look at bigger positions of need like wide receiver, guard and cornerback. I would really prefer that Smith didn't drag this whole thing out and I could see this lighting a fire under him to get a deal done.

I could be wrong and if San Francisco did this, maybe Smith would be deterred from the Niners, but not likely. He knows they want him first and foremost, so if he's playing hardball and the 49ers play hardball back, then that's just the way it is. I think he's thick-skinned enough to know it's just part of the business.

Alex Smith is no longer the top free agent quarterback. One would say it was him, then Matt Flynn and then a pretty substantial drop off after that but now, one of the greatest of all time is on the market. I think it's time for Smith to stop playing around so the Niners can go get him some weapons to throw to.

Follow me on Twitter: @DeSimone80

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