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Jim Harbaugh has been vacillating like a pro on the question of whom he'll install as his team's primary starting quarterback. The 49ers have had success under Alex Smith, but Colin Kaepernick's performance when Smith suffered his concussion has intrigued 49ers fans frustrated with Smith's limitations. Should Harbaugh make a permanent change at the quarterback position?

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On Thursday, "First Take" debated Jim Harbaugh's comments that the 49ers never pursued Peyton Manning. The 49ers coach said Alex Smith was always in the team's plans for this season and that Manning was never an option. Neither Skip Bayless nor Stephen A. Smith believe him. What's your take?

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The 49ers may have wanted Peyton Manning to wear red and gold this season, but since he's not available they decided to stick with the guy who got them to the NFC Championship Game last year. Sources say that San Francisco has re-signed Alex Smith to a three-year deal worth an average of $8 million per season. Smith seemed to have something of a breakthrough in 2011, but was his ascendance something of a fluke?


2012 expectations?

The 49ers went 13-3 and made the NFC Championship Game in the 2011 season. The addition of Randy Moss could be just the thing needed for San Francisco to really make a run at the Lombardi Trophy.

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What do you expect out of the 49ers and Alex Smith this season?

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    9%
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    46%
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    26%
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    19%

Discuss (Total votes: 58,832)


Is Smith elite?

Alex Smith had been heavily criticized during his time in San Francisco, but 2011 was a fantastic year for him -- 3,144 yards, 17 touchdowns and only five interceptions.

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How good of a quarterback is Alex Smith?

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    2%
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    36%
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    56%
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    5%
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    1%

Discuss (Total votes: 6,524)


Any lingering issues?

Smith was obviously the backup plan for San Francisco in case it missed out on Peyton Manning, but are both sides professional enough to make it work?

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Do you believe there are any hard feelings between Alex Smith and the 49ers as a result of their failed Peyton Manning pursuit?

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    19%
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    60%
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    21%

Discuss (Total votes: 60,284)

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Peyton Manning apparently has a new home. The quarterback has reportedly instructed his agent to begin negotiations with the Denver Broncos in a move that would alter the balance of power in the AFC West if it's true. Manning's decision will have a ripple effect across the NFL: What the Broncos should do with Tim Tebow? Have the 49ers ruined their relationship with Alex Smith? And just what have the Dolphins been thinking during this entire ordeal? It should be lots of fun to see how it all plays out.


A good fit?

Manning will look awful strange in Broncos colors, but we're sure fans in Denver will get over the brief visual incongruity if it leads to dozens of passing touchdowns.

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Is Peyton Manning a good fit for the Broncos?

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    65%
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    35%

Discuss (Total votes: 349,199)


Expectations of Manning?

After missing the 2011 season with a neck injury, Manning is looking to prove to all of football that he is still an elite quarterback.

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How will Peyton Manning's numbers this year compare to his averages over the past four seasons (4,310 yards, 31 TDs, 14 INTs)?

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    8%
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    46%
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    46%

Discuss (Total votes: 18,113)


Trade Tebow?

Tim Tebow could make a good backup for Manning, but should the Broncos trade him to a team that needs a fresh start at quarterback?

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What should the Broncos do with Tim Tebow?

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    33%
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    67%

Discuss (Total votes: 169,159)


Smith's fate?

The 49ers seem willing to let Alex Smith sign elsewhere, despite the quarterback's emergence in 2011.

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Did the 49ers do irreparable damage to their relationship with Alex Smith in their pursuit of Peyton Manning?

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    54%
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    46%

Discuss (Total votes: 24,339)

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The most impressive NFC quarterback?

Most of SN expected this to be a debate about Aaron Rodgers and Drew Brees. Was Eli Manning beating Rodgers in Lambeau more impressive than Alex Smith beating Brees at home?

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Does either team have an edge?

Going back to the regular season, Smith ranked ninth in the NFL with a 90.7 passer rating, two spots behind Eli Manning at 92.9.

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Did Alex Smith win you over?

How much of a difference did one game make in how you define Alex Smith, he of the 68 career touchdowns and 58 career interceptions?

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The clutch brother in the family?

Eli Manning won't match a lot of Peyton Manning's numbers, but he's two wins away from passing his older brother in rings and beat both Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers in Lambeau Field.

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Who had bigger cleats to fill?

Smith had to live with the comparisons to Joe Montana (above) and Steve Young throughout his time in San Francisco, but Manning has been Peyton's brother his whole life.

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