Originally posted by excelsior:
I agree with MadDog. The handling of this matter was awkward and avoidable - even amaturish. After all, Baalke is really new at this GM thing and has a great deal to learn. Unfortunately, he won the "NFL Executive of the Year Award" and probably thinks he knows it all already. Things went very swimmingly last year - almost too good. Frankly, things kind of broke our way a bit last year.
How to better handle this? They should have been straight up and open with Alex when they decided to make a try at Manning, and given him a chance to explore his options earlier when they were exploring theirs. When Manning spurned the 49ers, they should have increased their offer to Alex in light of a number of things, one of which was to send a signal to the rest of the team that Alex is truely valued. This way the team will be more inclined to be enthused about the coming year. Instead, they have effectively told the world that they do not think that Alex is very good, and we will see if that has any adverse effect down the road.
There is no doubt that Harbaugh and Baalke are a vast improvement over the previous cast of bumblers, but they are not perfect and each has a little bit to learn yet. Remember, one can argue that Harbaugh lost the NFCC game when he/STs coach failed to instruct Kyle to be more protective of the ball, especially after watching him be reckless twice before the third one put a stake through our heart. The NYG organization was smart enough to order their KR/PR to go down as soon as they fielded the wet ball. Yes, I said it - I think Harbaugh was outcoached that game.
That is pure speculation. You don't know if the 49ers gave Smith notice or not. You don't know if they ended up giving him more money or not. It's at least even odds that your wrong on both accounts.