Well, here's one way for Alex Smith to get away from all the Peyton Manning talk back with the San Francisco 49ers: He can go to the Seattle Seahawks, where the NFL rumor mill has long ago stopped caring about their own Peyton Manning bid. Smith is coming off a good season that has nevertheless aroused all sorts of suspicion from teams who aren't already starting Tarvaris Jackson under center. The 17 touchdowns/five interceptions thing is great, but Matt Cassel will be able to tell anyone who asks about the tendency for big seasons based on a dearth of interceptions to regress to the mean the next year.
It was definitely the best season of the former No. 1's career, but after five seasons of mediocrity few teams are going to take Smith's 2011 season at face value. That's going to get him a starting job, but it's not going to give him any job security if the team that's chasing him is also chasing Peyton Manning.
More NFC West quarterback coverage from the Sam Bradford partisans at SB Nation St. Louis:
- The San Francisco 49ers remain the favorites in the Peyton Manning contest.
- And it doesn't hurt that they just signed Mario Manningham.