The San Francisco 49ers are five and a half weeks away from the March 10 kickoff of free agency, and approximately three months away from the 2015 NFL Draft. Before we get to any of that however, we are likely going to get an answer to one of the team's most pressing concerns.
There have been rumors swirling around the future of defensive tackle Justin Smith. There had been speculation during the season, and it culminated with Alex Flanagan's Week 17 report that Smith was expected to retire after the season. Smith did not speak with the media the day after the season ended.
Two weeks later, when the 49ers introduced Jim Tomsula as head coach, Trent Baalke said he was going to wait a few weeks to talk with Smith about his potential retirement. The idea being to give him time to think things over and figure out what he wanted to do next. That was on January 15, 15 days ago.
If I had to guess, I think we would hear something on Smith's future either next week, or the week after. In the meantime, what do you think will happen? Will we get another year of Cowboy, or will this be the offseason he packs it in and heads off into the sunset?
The installation of Jim Tomsula as head coach could potentially bode well for Smith returning. Smith was incredibly complimentary of Tomsula back after the latter was given a shot as interim coach. That would seem to indicate tremendous respect for the man.
The 49ers have installed Eric Mangini as defensive coordinator, but do not have a defensive line coach. Smith does not strike me as a guy who is overly concerned about any drama connected to the coaches. He is going to go out there and play, and it is pretty simple. Having Tomsula as head coach likely weighs as a pro, but it likely will come down to how much he thinks he can contribute in 2015. He is on the backside of his career, and injuries have slowed him down each of the last three years. If he thinks injuries are officially a regular thing, that might be reason enough for him to call it quits.
What kind of result do you expect from this?