Cohn: 49ers serious about Super Bowl? Get Manning

  • CORRECTS DATE OF REPORT - FILE - In this Jan. 8, 2011, file photo, Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning calls out at the line of scrimmage during an AFC wild card game in the NFL football playoffs against the New York Jets in Indianapolis. The Peyton Manning era in Indianapolis is expected to end, according to a report. Citing anonymous sources, ESPN reported Tuesday, March 6, 2012, that the Colts plan to hold a news conference Wednesday to announce the long-expected decision. Manning is expected to attend. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh, File)

If the 49ers are serious about winning the Super Bowl, they should move heaven and earth to sign Peyton Manning — if Manning is healthy. Sure, that is a big "if," but it's easy enough to gauge Manning's game readiness.

Former Press Democrat sportswriter Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea is reporting the Niners have no interest in signing Manning — they are working on a multiyear contract with incumbent quarterback Alex Smith.

The conclusion is painfully obvious: The 49ers are not serious about winning the Super Bowl.

What a shame.

What a rip-off.

What a collective failure of nerve.

Let's be real clear about this. Manning, who will be 36 later this month, is one of the greatest quarterbacks who ever lived. He is a certain Hall of Famer.

Smith is most definitely not one of the greatest quarterbacks who ever lived. He never will be one of the greatest quarterbacks who ever lived. He is a pretty good quarterback who always will remain a pretty good quarterback — nothing more. On the other hand, he's a very nice guy.

Why do the 49ers need Manning?

They have a championship-caliber defense but their offense is not championship-caliber. They need an offense to complement the defense. It's more than that — they owe their defense a worthy offense.

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