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NFL notebook

Smith, 49ers in agreement

Associated Press / March 22, 2012
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No hard feelings on Alex Smith’s part that the 49ers pursued Peyton Manning.

In the end, Smith is right back where he expected to be all along - with the only franchise he has ever known.

The free agent quarterback signed his three-year deal with the 49ers at last Wednesday. It will pay him $8 million per season with $16.5 million guaranteed, according to a person with knowledge of the contract.

The person, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the contract details weren’t made public, said Smith’s deal can pay him up to $33 million.

Smith signed at team headquarters a day after Manning was formally introduced in Denver after the 49ers pursued the four-time NFL MVP. San Francisco coach Jim Harbaugh worked out Manning at Duke last week.

“Not offended at all. I would have relished the opportunity to compete for the starting quarterback job with Peyton Manning,’’ Smith said.

Smith, 27, said Harbaugh and general manager Trent Baalke came to see him to inform the quarterback they were going to pursue Manning.

“Obviously it was a little unexpected, but that’s part of the deal. This is free agency and this is the NFL, and those things happen,’’ Smith said.

Smith is coming off a breakthrough season, throwing for 3,150 yards and 17 touchdowns to help San Francisco reach the NFC title game.

Rule changes?

NFL owners next week will get proposals to eliminate referees from replay reviews and allow a player to return during the season from the injured reserve list.

The league’s competition committee will propose having the booth official make all decisions on replay reviews. He also would be allowed to review all turnovers just as he now reviews all scoring plays.

The committee will propose expanding the overtime rule used in the postseason - both sides must have an offensive possession if the receiving team kicks a field goal to start the extra period - to the regular season.

And a player hurt in preseason or early in the schedule could be designated as able to return from injured reserve after six weeks and play after eight weeks rather than sit out the entire season.

Quarterback shuffle

The Redskins announced the signing of one RGIII while looking at another. Washington said Rex Grossman - full name Rex Daniel Grossman III - signed a one-year contract to return to the team. He agreed to the deal last week.

The Redskins are expected to take Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III with the No. 2 overall pick in the draft. Owner Dan Snyder and coach Mike Shanahan attended Griffin’s workout at Baylor Wednesday.

Griffin was sharp throwing a scripted 51 passes he had been working on with quarterback consultant Terry Shea. Only a few balls even hit the ground.

Saints ink Bunkley

The Saints and free agent defensive tackle Brodrick Bunkley agreed to a five-year contract. Bunkley spent last season with the Broncos, appearing in all 16 regular-season games and starting 13 . . . The Colts signed center Samson Satele, who has started 74 career games with the Dolphins and Raiders. A person with knowledge of the deal said it’s a three-year contract worth $10.8 million, with $5 million guaranteed . . . Safety Bryan Scott has agreed to re-sign for a sixth season with the Bills. He had two interceptions, one sack and recovered a fumble for a touchdown in 16 games, including seven starts last season . . . The Raiders agreed on a $2 million, one-year contract to bring back right tackle Khalif Barnes for a fourth season. Barnes started all 16 games last season . . . The Vikings have agreed to a deal with former Panthers offensive lineman Geoff Schwartz. Schwartz made the announcement via Twitter. Terms of the agreement were not immediately available.

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