Other reports indicate that Smith isn't too happy with the 49ers pursuit of Peyton Manning. So what?
This is a business and if you don't have thick enough skin to handle the nuances of the free agent market then you probably don't deserve to be a starting quarterback in the NFL. With that being said, these are simply just reports at this point. I have a hard time believing that Smith, who is one of the most intelligent players in the league, would actually let the 49ers pursuit of Manning effect him.
We have to realize that this is a special circumstance. I am working under the assumption that Manning approached the 49ers, not the other way around. In reality, they are the best fit for the future Hall of Fame quarterback.
What exactly do the 49ers owe Smith? Not much if you ask me. He had five horrible seasons by the bay before leading San Francisco to the NFC Championship Game. In doing so, Smith was one of the primary reasons San Francisco existed in mediocrity during that span.
One decent season doesn't afford him the right to demand elite quarterback money. One decent season doesn't give him a blank check in which to work.
In reality, the 49ers won in 2011 despite having to run a watered down playbook in order to fit Smith's marginal skill set. He missed major targets on the outside, wasn't all too accurate and was purely a game manager: nothing more.
If San Francisco does miss out on Manning, which I personally don't think is going to happen, they would welcome Smith back with open arms. After all, the two have been through a lot over the course of his career and have a longstanding relationship. Jim Harbaugh came in and helped Smith improve a great deal in 2011 to the point where he was a really good player for them.
With that being said, San Francisco won 14 games in 2011 because of a great defense, solid running game and mistake free football. Marginal quarterbacks such as Matt Moore, Ryan Fitzpatrick and Matt Hasslebeck would have won in the same situation. It just so happened that Smith was the one under center.
If San Francisco is able to sign Manning they immediately become the clear frontrunners to win the Super Bowl in 2012. Alex Smith needs to understand this and cannot let emotion intertwine with business. If that happens he is no good for any team in the National Football League.
As it is, Smith should be fully prepared to treat this like a business and move on if San Francisco is prepared to do the same.