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Alex Smith not offended by 49ers courting of Manning; Ginn re-signs with SF

By Josh Katzowitz | NFL Writer
Alex Smith said he would have liked to compete against Peyton Manning for the 49ers starting job. (US Presswire)
Entering the post-2011 offseason, the 49ers clearly had to work on improving their passing game, mostly through the signing of free agent receivers.

Of course, the 49ers also re-signed Alex Smith earlier in the week for three years and $8 million per season to help shore up the offense, and on Thursday, he revealed that he wasn't upset by the team's pursuit of Peyton Manning.

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

Now, how's that for confidence?

Even if you think his self-assurance is misplaced, there's no denying that Smith is coming off a season in which he posted his best numbers ever, led his team on game-winning drives and helped the 49ers to their best season in 14 years. So, the fact he took some free-agent visits visits and the 49ers looked at another quarterback doesn't bother him.

"I feel like I've been through way worse than this," Smith said. "You know, it's free agency. Yeah, it is always going to be a little crazy. Maybe this year a little crazier than most."

But now he's got a deeper pool of wide receivers upon whom he can count.

2012 NFL free agency coverage
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While San Francisco hasn't added a No. 1 receiver to the team, meaning Michael Crabtree likely will stay in that role, give the 49ers credit for adding depth the receiver room.

After signing Randy Moss to a deal earlier this month and inking former Giants receiver Mario Manningham earlier on Thursday, the 49ers have announced that they've agreed to a one-year deal with Ted Ginn Jr.

“We are glad that Ted has decided to return to the 49ers in 2012," said 49ers general manager Trent Baalke in a statement. “He is a versatile player and an excellent teammate that will continue to play an important role for us on both offense and special teams.”

While Ginn makes a minimal impact on the offense -- last year, he had 19 catches for 220 yards -- he's one of the better returners in the league who set a franchise record last season by returning a kick and a punt for touchdowns in the same game.

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