Alex Smith signs three-year deal with 49ers

By Janie Mccauley

Associated Press

Published: Wednesday, March 21 2012 12:00 a.m. MDT

Last spring, Harbaugh handed over his playbook to Smith during a brief lifting of the lockout — a show of confidence in the QB even though he wasn't under contract. Smith wound up re-signing for $4.9 million, then earned a $1 million bonus for making the playoffs as the 49ers ended an eight-year stretch without a postseason berth or winning record.

Now, he is getting some job security and a nice raise to boot.

"Really the money wasn't the issue. Money is great for security but I'm not a guy who has a bunch of flashy cars," Smith said.

York had said the team's three-year offer still stood despite the pursuit of Manning, and it was just up to Smith to sign. The quarterback said he didn't have a problem that his agency, CAA Sports, was also negotiating and representing Manning.

"I'm glad that this is finally done. For me this was the plan all along," Smith said. "Since the season ended I wanted to be back here. It dragged out a little bit but I'm glad it's over. Glad it's done. Glad to get back to work."

Long booed by his home fans at Candlestick Park, Smith had only five interceptions last year as San Francisco went 13-3 to win its first division title since 2002. That was a remarkable turnaround under first-year coach and 15-year NFL quarterback Harbaugh — the NFL coach of the year — who declared his confidence in Smith as a winner from Day 1 when Harbaugh was hired away from Stanford in January 2011.

San Francisco went 6-2 on the road and won four of those games in comeback fashion — and Smith rallied his team from behind five times in all, not to mention a 36-32 victory against the favored Saints in the NFC divisional playoffs. Smith completed a 14-yard touchdown pass to Davis with 9 seconds left to seal it after Drew Brees had put his team ahead.

Smith said he was ready to battle Manning for the No. 1 job in training camp if it came to that.

"I know that this is my job. I feel like I've earned it," Smith said. "I've earned the right to compete for it. I've always welcomed competition and will continue to welcome it."

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