Demoted 49ers quarterback figures to be elsewhere next season
NEW ORLEANS — The day of reckoning is approaching for San Francisco 49ers quarterback Alex Smith. No, not Super Bowl Sunday. The day he is expected to ask for his release.
That day will likely come soon after the 49ers face the Baltimore Ravens in Super Bowl XLVII on Sunday.
Smith, who lost his starting job to second-year quarterback Colin Kaepernick after suffering a concussion in Game 9, is scheduled to make a $1 million roster bonus in mid-March and a base salary of $7.5 million in 2013.
He might not receive either, according to recent reports that cite unnamed sources.
“I mean, it’s coming. It’s expected,’’ Smith told reporters Tuesday at Media Day. “I feel like I’ve been answering it the last few days anyway, so I’m ready for it. I focus on what I can control. For me, it’s getting ready to go if I have to and staying prepared and helping this team. There will be plenty of time for that when this is all done. Right now, I’m just focused on the game.’’
Before Smith’s concussion and subsequent demotion, he had completed 152 of 217 passes (70 percent) for 1,731 yards, with 13 touchdowns and five interceptions, for a 104.0 passer rating.
Home sweet home
The 49ers are using the New Orleans Saints training facility this week to finish their game preparations. And they will use the Saints locker room inside the Superdome on game day.
“I want to thank the New Orleans Saints,’’ said Jim
Harbaugh, whose team came into the Superdome and handed the home team a 23-13 loss Nov. 25. “We look forward to using their facility this week. We were in the weight room (Monday). Tremendous facilities, and we appreciated their hospitality. All of the gratitude toward the Saints.’’
A memorable first sack
The first sack of Ravens inside linebacker Ray Lewis’ distinguished 17-year career came against, of all people, 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh.
Harbaugh was then the starting quarterback for the Indianapolis Colts, who defeated the Ravens 26-21 on Oct. 13, 1996.
“Being a YouTube video would be the least of my concerns if I got blindsided or something. You’re making sure you’ve got all your teeth. (You’re) Looking out the ear hole.’’
—49ers kicker David Akers, when asked if he worried about getting blindsided.