2011 49ers Grades: Reggie Smith

We still have one more moderately important 49ers Smith to grade, but I wanted to save that for tomorrow since more folks are around earlier in the week. For now though, I thought we'd take a look at one of the likely departing Smiths, Reggie Smith.

2011 was a season of missed opportunities for Reggie Smith. At the beginning of training camp, as the team waited out Dashon Goldson in free agency, Smith looked ready to claim the starting free safety job. He was taking all the first string snaps and benefitting from Goldson's absence. And then all hell sort of broke loose. Smith injured his knee and ended up needing surgery for a torn meniscus. Then conveniently enough the 49ers came to terms with Dashon Goldson and he was back in camp.

The first quarter of the season saw Smith get back into the lineup as Dashon Goldson injured his knee. Goldson sat out the first two games of the season and Smith joined Madieu Williams in the starting lineup. Once Goldson got healthy, Smith was out of the lineup and basically the sixth defensive back. He got some action here and there but his fate was more or less sealed.

The 49ers are expected to let Reggie Smith walk this offseason as he looks for an opportunity for more work. Dashon Goldson is looking to get a long term deal, but the team might look for more consistent production before agreeing to such a deal. It will be interesting to see if and/or how the team considers the safety position in this year's draft. C.J. Spillman and potentially Cory Nelms will provide some competition, but with Smith and Madieu Williams potentially walking, the depth could be a significant issue.

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