SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – The San Francisco 49ers were reportedly in the running for star free agent quarterback Peyton Manning, until word on Monday that he would sign with the Denver Broncos.

“He doesn’t want to go to a place where he has to be the whole thing like he was in Indy,” John Madden told the KCBS morning crew. “He said he’d like to go to a team that has a good running back, a good offensive line and a good defense. To me that sure as heck sounds like the 49ers.”

Madden said the 49ers may have been the best opportunity for Manning to return to the Super Bowl. “If you say which one of those three teams (the 49ers, the Broncos and the Titans) would give you the best chance, I would probably think it would be the 49ers, although the NFC is a much tougher conference than the AFC.”

With the 49ers courting Manning unsuccessfully, current San Francisco quarterback Alex Smith was talking to the Miami Dolphins. “I know that the Alex Smith thing is tough because (49ers coach) Jim Harbaugh was saying you know ‘you’re the guy, you’re my guy’ and all that stuff. And that was probably true. But in all of sports, the end of that sentence is always ‘until I find someone better.'” (8:30)

Listen to the John Madden segment live weekday mornings at 8:15 on KCBS All News 740 AM/106.9 FM.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

Comments (4)
  1. tn says:

    The latest “spin” by the Niners front office will be that we really wanted Smith all along and that it was just a business strategy to possibly leverage a more “competitive” salary negotiation with Alex’s contract. Yes Yorks, Alex was “our man” all along… Now Niners coach Jim Harbaugh has to be the spin control doctor and re-woo, re-adjust, reconfirm to Alex that if he had it his way from the start, Alex would’ve never been played like that. Business is dirty.

  2. tn says:

    Did this journalist or copy editor really write Madden’s best chance to return to the Super Bowl was with the Niners? What position would Madden play?

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