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49ers

49ers Tell Alex Smith He’s Welcome To Stay

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Quarterback Alex Smith of the San Francisco 49ers. (Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)

Quarterback Alex Smith of the San Francisco 49ers. (Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)

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SANTA CLARA (CBS/AP) — The San Francisco 49ers would welcome back quarterback Alex Smith and said it’s up to the 2005 first overall pick to decide if he wants to return.

General manager Trent Baalke said Wednesday that the 49ers have extended an “olive branch” to Smith to return to the only NFL team he’s ever known. All that came before the NFL locked out the players in the ongoing labor dispute.

Smith can’t sign withSan Francisco—or any other team—until the labor situation is settled and free agency begins. Smith was demoted and promoted several times last season and has had a different offensive coordinator every year.

The 49ers have the No. 7 pick in next week’s NFL draft and could take a quarterback.

(Copyright 2011 by CBSSan Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services may have contributed to this report.)

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