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49ers look like serious player in Manning pursuit

  • Quarterback Peyton Manning waves to fans as he leaves the offices of the Tennessee Titans NFL football team on Wednesday, March 14, 2012, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/The Tennessean, Sanford Myers) NO SALES

SAN FRANCISCO — Jim Harbaugh coaching Peyton Manning. In the Bay Area, they're beginning to think about the possibility and believe it truly might happen.

A former NFL quarterback, Harbaugh worked wonders with Alex Smith in a matter of months for the NFC West champions, and now all signs point to the 49ers being a serious player in the Manning sweepstakes. Smith, who had a three-year offer on the table to return, traveled to Miami on Sunday to meet with the Dolphins.

"It's crazy," said 49ers running back Frank Gore, who has long been a big supporter of Smith. "I'm going to sit back and let them do their job. I'm sitting back and waiting for it to happen."

Everybody is eagerly anticipating decision day, likely this week.

If San Francisco doesn't sign Manning, the 49ers will have some serious relationship-building to do with Smith even after he developed a close relationship with Harbaugh. The Niners might even need to bump him up from the $24 million he has reportedly been offered.


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