Quarterback Alex Smith is playing on a one-year deal. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Alex Smith is enjoying this season too much to think ahead.
The 49ers’ quarterback, now in his seventh NFL season in San Francisco, would rather think about how his team is 8-1, how the Arizona Cardinals are next up on the schedule this Sunday at Candlestick Park and how the Niners now seem a lock to clinch the NFC West and make the playoffs for the first time since 2002.
Already, NFL observers, including Mike Sando of ESPN, have concocted numerous and complicated scenarios to predict when the 49ers will win their division, and if they could set a record for securing the earliest-ever playoff berth.
For his part in what the 49ers have done this season, Smith already has been nominated as a candidate for Comeback Player of the Year, along with Tony Romo of the Cowboys, Matthew Stafford of the Lions, Steve Smith of the Panthers and Jermichael Finley of the Packers.
Smith, who is playing on a one-year, $5 million contract, has completed 64 percent of his passes and thrown just three interceptions against 11 TD passes.
He told reporters Wednesday that he doesn’t want to think about his next deal while he’s still playing through this one.
“(It’s) not something I’ve talked about, or even really thought about,” he told Cam Inman of the Bay Area News Group. “I’m focused on playing football. That’s not something I would want to think about in the middle of the season, to be honest with you.”
Added Smith: “It’s so fun coming to work every day with the group of guys we have, and doing what we’re doing.”
Head coach Jim Harbaugh has said Smith has put himself into an elite class of quarterbacks in the league this season.
The former No. 1 overall draft pick out of Utah says he’s always believed he could play at this level.
“I guess I’ve always felt like … when I play to my potential, absolutely,” he told the San Francisco Chronicle’s Eric Branch. “It was a matter of doing it and doing it consistently.”