San Francisco 49ers should give up the farm for Andrew Luck 

A reunion of Jim Harbaugh and Andrew Luck could make the 49ers a dynasty again if the team is willing to trade for the No. 1 pick. - GETTY IMAGES FILE PHOTO
  • Getty Images file photo
  • A reunion of Jim Harbaugh and Andrew Luck could make the 49ers a dynasty again if the team is willing to trade for the No. 1 pick.

Watching Andrew Luck pick apart Oklahoma State’s ball-hawking pass defense in the Fiesta Bowl without star receiver Chris Owusu and tight end Coby Fleener had to secure his position as the all-but-certain No. 1 pick in April’s NFL draft.

Now imagine Luck re-united with Jim Harbaugh and playing for the 49ers? Sure, it will take an enormous offer to lure Luck away from the Indianapolis Colts, who secured the top pick with an abysmal 2-14 season. But Indianapolis could be open to trading the top pick because selecting the Stanford quarterback would likely mean a parting of the ways with Peyton Manning.

While Manning still awaits medical clearance to play following three neck surgeries and is due a $28 million roster bonus on March 8, the soon to be 36-year old-quarterback remains the face of the Colts’ franchise and is revered by team owner Jim Irsay.

Of course, smart football decisions regularly trump sentiment (see: 49ers trading Joe Montana or Packers cutting ties with Brett Favre), but if the Colts truly believe Manning will make it back, why not fill other more pressing needs with the two first-round picks or more you could get for Luck?  

Which brings us back to the 49ers.

While Harbaugh remains Alex Smith’s greatest supporter and openly talks about plans to re-sign his free-agent-to-be quarterback, Smith has yet to appear in a playoff game where careers are ultimately made or broken.

A serviceable offense has been good enough to return the 49ers to prominence. It will take more than that to rekindle San Francisco’s football glory. If Smith struggles to match throws with the likes of Drew Brees or Aaron Rodgers, 4949 Centennial Blvd. in Santa Clara will be buzzing with contingency plans for the 2012 season, and it should start with Luck.  

KGO (810 AM) Sports Director Rich Walcoff can be heard weekdays from 5 to 9 a.m. on the KGO morning news. He can be reached at RichWalcoff@gmail.com.

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Rich Walcoff

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