49ers Notes: Manning, Harbaugh, Smith, Baalke

As the Broncos and 49ers are battling on Sunday Night Football, it is a time to think about what could have been for both franchises. After being cut from the Colts, Peyton Manning considered the 49ers as a potential suitor, at least for a brief amount of time. Manning eventually decided not to include the team on his list of finalists, and one major reason for that was a concern about his inability to coexist with head coach Jim Harbaugh, reports Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk.

Harbaugh, who is known to be a control freak on offense, likely would not have given Manning the freedom he desired and ultimately received with head coach John Fox in Denver.

Here are some other notes from around the 49ers:

  • Florio also said that outside linebacker Aldon Smith could return from his nine-game suspension one or two weeks early, reports Kevin Lynch of SFGate.com (via Twitter).
  • There are a few possible reasons that Smith could return early, including the fact that he waived his right to appeal the suspension, and possible side deals he could have made with the league, reports Florio.
  • General manager Trent Baalke says he has no knowledge of any reduction in suspension for Smith, reports Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com. Maiocco also notes that the NFL has maintained that there is no update on his status going forward.
  • Former NFL receiver and NFL broadcaster Cris Collinsworth addressed the ongoing drama between Harbaugh and the 49ers, noting that the team should just pay him like a top quality coach, reports Jason Cole of Bleacher Report.
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