As if we needed more layers to the Peyton Manning saga, here comes one more: Alex Smith. The San Francisco 49ers quarterback since he was drafted with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2005 draft is reportedly visiting the Miami Dolphins Sunday in an apparent response to the 49ers' courtship of Peyton Manning.
Smith is a free agent, but he was widely expected to resign with Niners after reportedly being happy with the team's three-year contract offer. Smith and Manning are both represented by Tom Condon of CAA, so the case could be made that Condon believes the Niners are the front-runners for Manning and he's preparing Smith for when the 49ers' contract offer is rescinded.
After years of struggling, having his draft position — 23 picks in front of Aaron Rodgers — questioned and being labeled a "bust," Smith broke out under head coach Jim Harbaugh. He threw for 3,144 yards and 17 touchdowns with only five interceptions. He led the Niners in a dramatic comeback victory over the New Orleans Saints in the NFC Divisional Playoffs in January. SB Nation's Dolphins blog, The Phinsider, notes that this visit could be useful for the Dolphins in turn by driving down the price of Matt Flynn.