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When do the 49ers work a new contract for #11

When do the 49ers work a new contract for #11

This is something Ive been thinking about since Harbaugh called #11 and elite QB, playing elite football. This isnt about whether Alex is or isnt elite, the question is, given his performance this season, what risk does the team run by not signing him before the end of the season and allowing other teams to enter the fray for his services? I believe Alex's current contract is 1yr, 3.5 Mil.

Maiocco did a piece on this issue where he talks about it (signing Alex to a contract extension) not being of great concern.

http://www.csnbayarea.com/blog/niners-talk/post/New-contract-for-Alex-Smith-can-wait?blockID=594824&feedID=5936

Plenty of teams need a QB, will anyone try to sign him away (if he enters free agency) given his performance this year? Or have the last 7 years put enough doubt in the minds of other teams, that the 49ers do not need to be concerned about it and can afford to wait until the season is over? I threw in the "not at all" option b/c Im sure there are some draft junkies who have already pinpointed the "next great" qb which the niners could snatch up with a late first rounder and therefore make #11 expendable.

*Mods: Apologies if this has already been addressed elsewhere.

Cheers.
no point in doinga contract midseason could be a distraction