NFL free agency kicks in nine days, but today marks a free agency anniversary for the San Francisco 49ers. Seven years ago today, the team signed defensive tackle Justin Smith to a six year, $45 million contract.
If you are wondering why I chose a picture of a helicopter flying near the Golden Gate Bridge, it is in reference to the helicopter tour Smith got around the Bay Area during his visit. Smith had other visits planned after San Francisco, but he elected to cancel them and sign with the 49ers.
Smith was initially signed through the 2013 season. In June of that year, he signed a three-year extension that would keep him in town through the 2015 season. Obviously we have reached a cross-roads in his career. Smith has reportedly been considering retirement, but we have not heard a word from him since the end of the season. Jim Tomsula said at the Combine that he would visit with Smith in the after the Combine.
Tomsula said this is something they have done the last couple years while Smith figures out his future each offseason. With free agency just around the corner, I would hope the 49ers and Smith could get something figured out soon. The team would save $4.25 million against the cap if he does decide to call it a career. He is certainly getting up there in age, but if he can come back ready and healthy in the fall, I would have no problem with another year of Justin Smith. Hopefully we get some kind of hint before free agency gets going.