Woo hoo, Cowboy is sticking around! The 49ers announced this morning that defensive tackle Justin Smith has signed a two-year extension. He was previously signed through 2013, and this deal will keep him with the 49ers through the 2015 season.
Smith was one of the more prominent free agents on the horizon, and this deal would seemingly lock him up for the rest of his career. He has said in the recent past that he saw himself potentially playing a few more years, and this would seem to set that up. There is no word yet on contract details. The 49ers have renegotiated a few deals lately to clear up some cap space, and even with Eric Reid still left to sign, the team had some room to potentially do some work.
Smith has been rehabbing his torn triceps muscle this offseason, and not taking part in team drills during the offseason workout program. He is expected back in time for training camp, and even said that had there been a game this past week, he would have played.
Since joining the 49ers in 2008, Smith has 536 tackles, 32.0 sacks, one interception, seven forced fumbles, four fumble recoveries and nine passes defensed. And that does not even come close to describing his impact with the 49ers. There is a strong argument to be made that he is the most valuable player on the 49ers defense. His absence late last season and performance at less than 100% in the playoffs just about sums it up.
Fooch's Note: Here's the complete 49ers press release on the signing:
"Justin's All-Pro contributions on the field, as well as his leadership on and off the field, are integral to our success as a team," said 49ers general manager Trent Baalke. "Justin consistently sets a standard of excellence, serving as an example for everyone within our organization. This contract allows Justin to finish his career as a 49er!"
Smith (6-4, 285), a two-time All-Pro and four-time Pro Bowl selection, has led the 49ers defensive front for the past five seasons, helping the team rank second in rushing yards allowed per game (94.4) and yards per carry (3.6) over that time span. He has amassed 536 tackles, 32.0 sacks, one interception, seven forced fumbles, four fumble recoveries and nine passes defensed since joining the 49ers in 2008.
Smith has also etched his name into 49ers annals, as he was a two-time recipient of the Len Eshmont Award (2011-12) and the Bill Walsh Award (2008, 2011), the team's MVP awards as selected by the players and coaches, respectively. He is also the only player in franchise history to win the Matt Hazeltine Iron Man Award in consecutive seasons (2010-11). Selected by the defensive coaching staff, the award is given to the most courageous and inspirational defensive player.
In 2011, Smith was named First-Team All-Pro at defensive tackle and Second-Team All-Pro at defensive end, becoming the first player to be named to the Associated Press' first and second team at different positions in the same phase of the game. In 2012, he was named Second-Team All-Pro at both defensive tackle and defensive end. Smith also became just the third player in franchise history to register 6.0-or-more sacks in four consecutive seasons, joining LB Charles Haley (1986-91) and DE Dwaine Board (1983-86).
Originally drafted by the Cincinnati Bengals in the first round (fourth overall) in the 2001 NFL Draft, Smith has played in 189 games (185 starts) and tallied 1,163 tackles, 75.5 sacks, three interceptions, 13 forced fumbles, nine fumble recoveries and 30 passes defensed in his 12-year career. According to NFL Gamebooks, Smith has recorded 792 tackles since 2001, ranking first among all defensive linemen over that span.
A 33-year-old native of Holts Summit, MO, Smith played at Missouri.