Mindi Bach of ComcastSportsNet BayArea published an article indicating Alex Smith probably will return next season as the 49ers quarterback — or at least he will compete for the starting job. In her piece Mindi did not quote Smith — he asked her not to quote him. But she paraphrased his remarks.

If Smith returns, it seems clear both Smith and Jim Harbaugh are in a bind. There’s no free agency so each is grabbing onto the other in a desperate effort — holding on for dear life.

I do not believe Smith will work out as Niners QB. I have seen a lot of him. Anyone who believes it is good for Smith and Harbaugh to commit to each other for at least a season must proceed on faith. Nothing Smith has done in his pro career should lead to any confidence he can be good. He’s had quite a shot already.

If you believe Harbaugh can transform Smith, well good for you, but we have not seen Harbaugh coach professional quarterbacks. We haven’t even see him coach a pro team, not to mention a pro game. We are operating on faith here.

I feel cautious about this apparent development with Smith. Oh, forget cautious. I feel skeptical.

To read Mindi’s story click here.