By Evans Clinchy
March 22, 2012

Evidently the small bump in the road between Alex Smith and the San Francisco 49ers is over -- the quarterback said yesterday that he wasn't hurt by his team's decision to pursue Peyton Manning in free agency.

"Not offended at all," Smith told Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle. "In fact, I would have relished the opportunity to compete for the starting quarterback job with Peyton Manning."

That competition probably never would have happened -- if Manning had signed in the Bay Area this week, Smith's tenure would have been over in a jiffy. And Manning did indeed narrow his choices down to three finalists, including San Fran, before eventually choosing to sign with the Denver Broncos instead.

Smith eventually signed the three-year, $24 million contract the Niners were offering, once the Manning cloud had cleared. He later said that he was patching things up with coach Jim Harbaugh, who had tried to replace him days earlier.

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