Sports Outside the Beltway

QB Alex Smith to stay in San Francisco

The former #1 pick of the 2005 NFL draft and the 49ers re-worked the contract they had.

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Alex Smith has had a disappointing start to his career, but he was adamant about one thing — he wanted to stay.

As a result of his loyalty, Smith was able to rework the final two years of his contract and stay with San Francisco. According to a source, Smith will make $4 million a season in 2009 and 2010, in addition to base salaries that weren’t immediately made known.

Less pay is better than a chance of no pay at all.

In his previous contract, he was scheduled to make $24.6 million in the final two years.


Other teams had shown interest in Smith, who is only 24 years old and has four years of NFL experience. Those teams were willing to pay him more than his 49ers deal, according to a source, but Smith was insistent on making something work in San Francisco.

A perennially disappointing QB is offered more by other teams and he decides to stay with his original team. Does anyone else have a hard time believing this?

Smith, the first pick in the 2005 draft out of Utah, had 30 starts in his first three seasons, but was placed on injured reserve for the entire 2008 season because of a shoulder injury.

His best season may have been in 2006, when he completed 257-of-442 passes for 2,890 yards, with 16 touchdowns and 16 interceptions. Part of his rocky path may be because of the 49ers’ annual change in offensive coordinators — Smith has had a new one in each of his four seasons.

Coaching upheaval hasn’t helped, but I see no reason not to think Smith would still be a NFL draft bust if he had the same coordinator every year.

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