49ers notes: A hunger for details after Baalke-Smith dinner

Published: Friday, Feb. 22, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 3C
Last Modified: Tuesday, Mar. 26, 2013 - 11:10 am

INDIANAPOLIS – Here's an appetizer: Trent Baalke on Thursday revealed he had a post-Super Bowl dinner with quarterback Alex Smith in the Bay Area.

But the 49ers' general manager refused to divulge the main course, which is what the team plans to do with a starting-caliber quarterback who is due $8.5 million and who ended the 2012 season backing up Colin Kaepernick.

"I had a great conversation with him," Baalke said. "He expressed his feelings, and I expressed our feelings. And that's as far as I'm going to take it."

The 49ers are expected to attempt to trade Smith, who was one of the NFL's top-rated quarterbacks before he suffered a concussion Nov. 11 and was subsequently passed on the depth chart by Kaepernick.

The earliest the 49ers could do so is March 12. If there are no trade partners, the team likely will release Smith before April 1, when they would owe him his entire contract. Team officials also have said they could keep Smith on the roster in 2013, but that scenario is unlikely.

Baalke said the dinner also included Smith's wife, Elizabeth, who is expecting the couple's second child next month. Baalke declined to go into specifics about the team's or the Smiths' thoughts on the matter, but he did say that keeping Smith out of the division – Arizona is interested in acquiring a quarterback – has not been an issue.

"We're going to look at all options available," Baalke said. "Are we going to trade him for sure? That hasn't been decided."

Losing Gamble – Baalke acknowledged that director of player personnel Tom Gamble's recent departure to Philadelphia was difficult this close to the NFL combine and the draft but that the 49ers can deal with the loss.

"Just like we say with players – it's 'next man up, let's go,' " Baalke said.

Gamble, who grew up in Philadelphia, has a similar position with the Eagles. His father, Harry Gamble, is a former Eagles president.

"We certainly could have blocked that move," Baalke said. "He's under contract for several more years. Again, that was a personal decision that was made between Tom and I and the rest of the organization."

Baalke said there has been no time to reorganize the personnel department and that it probably won't be dealt with until after the draft. He said director of college scouting Joel Patten, who was next in line behind Gamble, would be considered for the position.

Surgery a success – Baalke said defensive end Justin Smith had successful surgery to repair his torn triceps at Stanford Hospital.

"It went as expected," Baalke said. "It went really well. It should be a short rehab for him, and he should be back to normal."

Smith is expected to be healthy for the start of training camp in late July.

Free-agent shuffle – The 49ers' chief contract negotiator, Paraag Marathe, will meet with the agents for most of the team's upcoming free agents, including representatives for wide receiver Randy Moss and safety Dashon Goldson.

Goldson has made it clear he does not want to be stuck with the franchise tag for a second consecutive season and is seeking a long-term deal that would make him among the league's highest-paid safeties.

"It's definitely a priority," Baalke said of a long-term deal. "Are we going to be able to do it? We don't know that. We're going to work awfully hard to make that happen."

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Read more articles by Matthew Barrows



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