Justin Smith Considering Comeback?

Former 49ers/Bengals defensive end Justin Smith announced his retirement last May, but rumors are circulating at the combine that Smith would like to play again, a source tells Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk. However, Smith would not want to return to San Francisco, adds Florio.Justin Smith (Vertical)

[RELATED: 49ers’ Colin Kaepernick requests permission to seek trade]

While Smith may not want to return to the Bay Area, the 49ers would still hold his rights in the even that he came out of retirement, as Florio notes. Smith had one year left on his deal at a cap charge of nearly $6.5MM, and that contract has tolled, meaning San Francisco would control Smith for one more season. Smith could presumably be traded, but as Florio adds, its tough to imagine another club giving up much of value for a 36-year-old lineman who has spent a year away from the NFL. Of course, the 49ers could also choose to release Smith, but they’d have little incentive to do so.

Even in his final NFL season, Smith was still a dominant force, racking up five sacks and grading as the league’s No. 11 3-4 defensive end among 47 qualifiers, per Pro Football Focus. He was just one of several San Francisco players to hang up his cleats after the 2014 campaign, including linebackers Chris Borland and Patrick Willis, and right tackle Anthony Davis (who is also said to be mulling a return to the NFL). Head coach Jim Harbaugh also notably left the NFL for the University of Michigan; his replacement, Jim Tomsula, has since been fired and replaced by Chip Kelly.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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4 comments on “Justin Smith Considering Comeback?

  1. aarongill

    Please come back to the niners. He helps everyone in so many ways. Always gets double teamed and helped players like Aldon tremendously. I hope he changes his mind to play for the niners again but either way I would love to see him back along with Willis.

    • Xekutioner

      He wouldn’t come out of retirement for our trash team or trash front office. He wants to win a SB. He’ll get traded somewhere he’s needed. Not saying the Cowboys are contenders but they’re still looking for some dline depth. Many teams could easily use him.

      • Bobby Sweet

        Seems like the perfect type of player Belichick would bring in. Veteran looking for a ring that he could rotate in and out every couple of plays.

  2. Would be a perfect fit in Denver to replace Malik Jackson

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