Originally posted on NFL News & Rumors  |  Last updated 3/20/12

After their brief flirtation with Peyton Manning late last week nearly blew up in their face, the 49ers have regrouped by finalizing a multi-year contract with Alex Smith, according to both Chris Mortensen at ESPN and Michael Lombardi at the NFL Network.

The contract will likely pay Smith an average of $8 million per season, keeping him with the team that selected him #1 overall in the 2005 Draft.

Smith, 27, rejuvenated his career last season, completing 273 passes for 3,144 yards, 17 touchdowns, and five interceptions while leading San Francisco to the NFC title game against the eventual Super Bowl champion Giants.

The Dolphins pushed hard to sign Smith over the weekend and seemed to be the front runner for his services, but once Manning made his intention to sign with the Broncos known, the 49ers quickly began to repair any damage done and have seemingly moved on with Smith at the helm.

San Francisco also has second year quarterback Colin Kaepernick waiting in the wings, although it’s likely that he will need a bit more seasoning before he’s allowed to take over for Smith and run the 49ers offense.

©2012 NFL News & Rumors. All Rights Reserved.

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