Alex Smith to Visit Dolphins, Is Peyton Manning Headed West?

By Alan Schechter

Jan 22, 2012; San Francisco, CA, USA; San Francisco 49ers quarterback Alex Smith (11) throws a pass during the 2011 NFC Championship game against the New York Giants at Candlestick Park. The Giants won 20-17 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Jason O. Watson-US PRESSWIRE

Interesting developments in the Peyton Manning situation have come out today.

It seems as if the San Francisco 49ers are setting their team up to accomodate Peyton

Manning.  First we earn that they have signed a 1 year deal with Randy Moss.  Next, they sign

a deal with former Giants’ wide receiver Mario Manningham on a two year deal.

Then, we must look at the Alex Smith situation.  Alex has been looking for a long term deal with the

49ers.  At 27 years old, he may have finally reached his prime in Jim Harbaugh’s system, throwing for

17 TDs and only 5 INTs in 2011, amassing 3,144 passing yards and a 90.7 passer rating.  One could argue that

after years of struggle, Alex Smith has finally found a system that suits his skill set and gives him the chance to


Earlier in the week, we learn that out of nowhere, Peyton Manning had a secret workout with Jim Harbaugh for

the 49ers.  It comes out today that, due to the stalled contract talks, Alex Smith is going to make a free agent visit

to the Miami Dolphins.

The way this is playing out has to make you wonder, are the 49ers closer to getting Peyton Manning than anyone

else realizes?  Do they know something that we don’t?

Allowing this to play out this way is a big risk on the 49ers part.  It’s one with high reward, but very high risk.

With Peyton in the fold, the 49ers are a scary football team. They have a wonderful defense, a great running game led by Frank Gore. The passing offense is set with Moss, Manningham and Vernon Davis.

But if the 49ers don’t land the coveted quarterback, they could be in big trouble. The Dolphins could act quickly and sign Alex Smith, as could any other team he decides to visit with. If Manning goes elsewhere, and they lose on Alex Smith they are going to have major problems. Those weapons are very nice, but not if no one is behind center to throw to them.