The San Francisco 49ers have waived their 2015 4th round draft pick DeAndre Smelter with an injury settlement. They had used the waived/injured designation. Had the two sides not reached a settlement, he would have been placed on injured reserve. The injury settlement makes him a free agent.
The settlement gives Smelter a fixed amount of money (X weeks) due to being injured and removes him from the 49ers roster. He can immediately sign with another team, but the 49ers can technically re-sign him later in the year. When an injury settlement is agreed upon, the original team can re-sign the player the settlement time + 3 weeks. If they agree to a settlement covering 3 game checks, the 49ers could re-sign him after six weeks. If the settlement was 5 games checks, the 49ers could re-sign him after eight weeks (good explainer here, linked in gtflded72’s settlement FanPost).
Fooch’s note: More than likely this marks the end of Smelter’s time with the 49ers. However, for those who want a reason for optimism, consider this move and the move of Will Redmond to injured reserve. The team can only bring back one player from IR during the season, and that player had to be added to IR after the 53-man roster was set. One remote possibility is the team thinks they can get both back, and so they made this maneuver to get around the system. I doubt it, but it’s one possibility. Back to Pat’s post.
And so, we have yet another player drafted with knee issues that the 49ers have gotten little to no production value out of. There are some things to take into consideration before flaming the 49ers front office; such as the odds picks in the 4th round and beyond will ever work out (they get pretty large), and hindsight is always 20/20. It’s also safe to say some perhaps unrealistic expectations were placed on Smelter long before he even could step foot on the field due to his measurables.
That said, this release really stings more than the others and 49ers general manager Trent Baalke is definitely running out of excuses as to why or how this strategy should be implemented in the first place (at least in the 1st-5th rounds). It’s one thing if you get a bad pick that simply won’t work out (A.J. Jenkins), it’s another if you consider using pick after pick on players who won’t see the field and passing over other players that you could have examined and seen their production in the days leading up to the draft. Like I said though, those successful picks in the 3rd and 4th round is always a 20/20 hindsight.