49ers on same page during busy offseason 

click to enlarge Trent Baalke - US PRESSWIRE FILE PHOTO
  • US PRESSWIRe file photo
  • Trent Baalke

SANTA CLARA -- So the 49ers and Alex Smith will live happily ever after, and please don’t mention that dalliance with Peyton Manning. As far as Randy Moss, the only thing that matters, we’re told, is how Randy acts when he shows up, which presumably he’ll do in time.

Niners general manager Trent Baalke spoke with the media Wednesday about next week’s NFL draft, and because as usual he wouldn’t tell us anything more specific than the team would select “the best player available,” we had to deal with the known — Alex and Randy — rather than the unknown.

San Francisco has the 30th pick in the first round, meaning any plans for, say, Andrew Luck best be forgotten. But I just had to ask Baalke if — the greatest word — the Niners did have the top pick, would they select anyone but Luck, the Stanford quarterback.

“Who’s our head coach?” Baalke responded cleverly, which can be interpreted as “Look, dumbo. Jim Harbaugh rode Luck to third in the national polls before moving to the 49ers, so figure your hypothetical queries yourself.”

But Baalke added: “We haven’t had that discussion. We are 100 percent committed to the guys in the locker room.”

For the last three weeks that would include Alex, still (exhale) the 49ers QB even though the Niners spent a few days wooing Mr. Manning and Smith spent at least a day being wooed by the Miami Dolphins. But Manning fell under the spell of John Elway and the Denver Broncos, and Smith came home for an eighth season with the Niners, who made him the overall first pick in 2005.

“We’ve had several conversations with Alex,” Baalke said. “We feel very good where the relationship is at this time. Alex is a pro and a competitor. We were transparent with him.”

You can only imagine the conversation: “Hey, Alex, we know you only threw five interceptions all season and got us one game from the Super Bowl, but you think it’s all right for us to replace you with Peyton?”

“I’ll think about it.”

Smith didn’t have a lot of targets, true. Thus the Niners signed Moss after a year away, retirements not exactly permanent these days. Moss is 35, and his attitude in his two seasons with the Raiders was less than inspirational, with Randy occasionally dogging it on pass patterns. Baalke is not to be swayed.

“In all likelihood,” Baalke said of Moss, “he’s a first-ballot Hall of Famer. You have to have something that allows you to play at that level for a period of time. We don’t judge people on what they did prior to becoming a 49er. We’re not worried about what he’s done in the past.”

For the nonce, having been given permission to be absent from the Niners voluntary offseason conditioning program, which started on Monday, Moss is doing very little, if anything.

One of the pesky reporters wondered what the 49ers would do with Kyle Williams, the star-crossed kid who fumbled twice in the NFC championship loss to the New York Giants. “I’m not down on Kyle Williams,” Baalke said. “I’m confident in him.”

Would you expect the man to say anything else?

Art Spander has been covering Bay Area sports since 1965 and also writes on www.artspander.com and www.realclearsports.com. Email him at typoes@aol.com.

NFL draft

WHEN: April 26-28
WHERE: Radio City Music Hall, New York
FORMAT: First round, April 26; second and third rounds, April 27; fourth through seventh rounds, April 28
TV: ESPN, NFL Network

About The Author

Art Spander

Art Spander

Art Spander has been covering Bay Area sports since 1965 and also writes on www.artspander.com and www.bleacherreport.com. Email him at typoes@aol.com.
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