The future of San Francisco 49ers defensive tackle Justin Smith remains up in the air to some extent. Prior to the team's season finale against Arizona, Alex Flanagan reported that she was hearing Smith would retire after the season. Smith did not speak to the media the next day during the team's final session in the locker room, and we have not heard anything since.
Well, Inside the NFL apparently thinks Smith is retired. I did not see this full segment, but the video below states it as though it is a done deal.
Justin Smith retired? #49ers say they haven't heard that. Clip from tonight's Inside the NFL via @JLib21... https://t.co/mLG48rjNfQ— Matt Barrows (@mattbarrows) January 8, 2015
It is entirely possible Smith will file his retirement paperwork with little fanfare, and that will be that. However, it is also possible he is holding off his announcement pending the 49ers coaching search. If that is the case, a promotion of Vic Fangio or Jim Tomsula could be the thing that keeps him around another season. That is just a guess on my part, but given the wait, it is entirely possible that is the case.
It is also possible he will sit through the offseason and see how his body feels after a few months rest. If he is feeling good come April when the offseason workout, maybe he shows up and works his way through the offseason. We don't really know, although at this point it would probably not be a surprise if he did decide to retire.