The San Francisco 49ers are figuring out their cornerback options, and one possibility is free agent Sean Smith. Matt Maiocco and Yahoo! reporter Charles Robinson are both reporting the 49ers have interest in the Chiefs cornerback.
Although we talked plenty about Marcus Peters, Smith was the Chiefs number one cornerback last season. According to Pro Football Focus, Smith finished the season having allowed one reception per 12.7 coverage snaps. This was good for 12th best among corners with at least 400 snaps in coverage.
If Smith's name sounds familiar, but you're not quite sure where, the 49ers were connected to him back in 2013. The 49ers signed Nnamdi Asomugha to a one-year contract that year, while Smith signed a three-year deal with the Chiefs worth $16.5 million. He received a little over $7.4 million in fully guaranteed money. I'm guessing those numbers will increase a little bit this year for the 28-year old cornerback.
I chatted with Joel Thorman from Arrowhead Pride to get his thoughts on Smith, who would immediately be the biggest cornerback on the roster, by an inch and 15 pounds on Dontae Johnson.
Sean Smith has outstanding size for a corner. You just don't see athletic 6'3 corners very often and he is one. He fits best in a scheme that allows him to use his size and long arms at the line of scrimmage bumping the receiver. He can also play off coverage but his strength is using his size. He's not the Darrelle Revis / Richard Sherman shutdown corner type but he is a very good corner who will get paid.
His weakness would probably be related to his speed. It's fine but not elite and he can get burned. But, again, that's why you want him using his physicality to slow the receivers down.
My guess is that his priority is the highest bidder because he last hit free agency three years ago in one of the worst cornerback markets in recent memory with a $6 million per year deal in KC. Smith's camp signed that deal knowing 2016 was coming with salary cap increases so they want to cash in, and rightfully so. I don't know how well he'll age but getting Smith in his prime for the next 2-3 years is worth $10+ million per year. I wish the Chiefs would do it but they've been preparing for this moment with a first round pick and two third round picks on corners in the past two seasons.