Per Steve Smith, the 49ers will be releasing receiver Torrey Smith, creating about $4.7 million in cap room and saving themselves $8 million in salary commitments for the year. Smith was the 49ers prized free agent signing in 2015, but he never took off in the offense catching just 53 passes for 930 yards in two years. The 49ers were reportedly shopping Smith last year at the trade deadline but were supposedly looking for a high draft pick which never made sense if it was true and looks worse now that they will release him for nothing.
Back in 2013 Smith looked to be a lock to reach the elite pay tier for receivers. The speedster gained over 1,100 yards and was just 24 years old. He struggled a bit in his walk year while dealing with personal tragedy and in my opinion saw his contract value deflate because of struggles around the NFL of question mark receivers signing big contracts.
San Francisco ended up being a terrible destination. They had no quarterback nor any commitment to any head coach or offensive system. Smith is going to be best used in a system where his speed can be taken advantage of as a down the field threat. He is only 28 and would make an intriguing free agent as a high upside, low cost player.
There are going to be plenty of rumors that the Ravens would be interested due to their need at receiver, his familiarity with Joe Flacco and the staff, and the fact that he would not count in the compensatory formula. The Eagles were the team rumored to be interested in Smith last year and if they, or the Redskins for that matter, are unable to land DeSean Jackson it could make some sense to look at someone like Smith to play a similar role. Given his age, he could possibly improve his stock greatly by signing with a good team on a one year contract and revisting free agency in 2018.
Jason is the founder of OTC and has been studying NFL contracts and the salary cap for over 15 years. Jason has co-authored two books about the NFL, Crunching Numbers and the Drafting Stage, which are widely circulated in the industry and hosts the OTC Podcast. Jason’s work has been featured in various publications including the Sporting News, Sports Illustrated, NFL Network and more. OTC is widely considered the leading authority on contract matters in the NFL.