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Paul Sakuma, File, Associated Press
FILE - In this Dec. 19, 2011 file photo, San Francisco 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh, center, talks with quarterback Alex Smith (11) during the second quarter of an NFL football game against the Pittsburgh Steelers in San Francisco. In the Bay Area, they're beginning to think about the possibility of Jim Harbaugh coaching former Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning and believe it truly might happen. 49ers free agent quarterback Alex Smith traveled to Miami Sunday, March 18, 2012, to meet with the Dolphins. But if San Francisco doesn't sign Manning the 49ers will have some serious relationship-building to do with Smith.

SAN FRANCISCO — Last spring during the NFL lockout, Jim Harbaugh handed over his playbook in good faith to Alex Smith as a commitment that the 49ers planned to sign him back.

Harbaugh turned Smith into a steady winner at last, a playmaker and playoff star.

Smith still looks to be San Francisco's man behind center, even after his coach and team flirted with Peyton Manning.

Smith had been weighing a three-year offer from the Niners early last week when Harbaugh and offensive coordinator Greg Roman traveled to Duke to work out Manning. For Smith, there might be some hard feelings — but maybe not. This guy has seen it all during his seven-year NFL career after the 49ers selected him with the No. 1 overall pick out of Utah in 2005.