SANTA CLARA, Calif. — Not only did Alex Smith understand the 49ers' pursuit of Peyton Manning last week, he said he would have "relished" an opportunity to compete with the four-time league MVP for the starting job in San Francisco.

SANTA CLARA, Calif. — Not only did Alex Smith understand the 49ers' pursuit of Peyton Manning last week, he said he would have "relished" an opportunity to compete with the four-time league MVP for the starting job in San Francisco.

The statement underscored Smith's insistence Wednesday that he wasn't offended by the flirtation with a high-profile passer and is as happy as ever with head coach Jim Harbaugh and the 49ers.

"As good as they've always been and getting better," Smith said of his relationships.

Smith had reason to put on a good face.

On Wednesday morning, he finally signed the three-year contract that at the end of the season seemed like a mere formality. The deal is for as much as $33 million if every incentive is met, and it includes a reported $16.5 million in guarantees.