The first overall pick in the 2005 NFL draft could get a chance to remain with the 49ers and battle for the starting quarterback spot.
According to Matt Barrows of The Sacramento Bee, the 49ers have a one-year offer on the table for QB Alex Smith, who is a free agent. With the lockout, Smith cannot sign a deal, and when asked if the team made an offer before the league year ended, new head coach Jim Harbaugh replied, "The NFL does not want us to comment on contract situations."
"Well, the question is, 'Do you have baby deer skin or skin like an armadillo?'" Harbaugh told Barrows when asked if Smith will ever succeed in San Francisco. "That's where the rubber meets the road there. If someone doesn't like me or doesn't cheer loud for me — is he going to be deep and emotionally scarred by that? I mean, most true competitors, most men like that would take offense to somebody inferring that about him."
Harbaugh thinks Smith has armadillo skin. "I don't think (booing) will affect the guy," he said.
Smith has started 10 games each of the past two seasons, with 32 touchdown passes and 22 interceptions. He has a 51-53 TD-interception ratio in 54 career games.
The Niners have the seventh pick in April's draft.