49ers plan to bring back QB Alex Smith for 2012

SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) - Coach Jim Harbaugh has told 49ers quarterback Alex Smith the team plans to re-sign him beyond this season.

Smith, the 2005 No. 1 overall draft pick out of Utah, received a $4.9 million, one-year contract as a free agent last July after the lockout - when many, including Smith himself, figured he'd be headed elsewhere following six up-and-down seasons. He has thrived under Harbaugh, a former NFL QB.

The 27-year-old Smith has thrown for 3,150 yards and 17 touchdowns with only five interceptions for the NFC West champion Niners (13-3), who earned the No. 2 playoff seed in the NFC and a first-round bye this week.

Smith is a big reason San Francisco finished with 10 total turnovers, which equaled the 2010 New England Patriots for fewest in NFL history.

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