Patrick Willis

2024 Hall Of Fame Class Unveiled

As part of tonight’s NFL Honors program, the 2024 Pro Football Hall of Fame class has been revealed. It consists of modern-era standouts and two players chosen by the senior committee. Here is the full breakdown of this year’s honorees:

Dwight Freeney, defensive end (2002-17)

In his second year as a finalist, Freeney received enough support to be voted into the Hall. One of the quickest edge rushers in NFL history, Freeney will reach Canton with 125.5 career sacks. That total ranks 18th in NFL history. The Colts made Freeney their pass-rushing anchor during Peyton Manning‘s extended run as their franchise centerpiece. While the team eventually found a bookend in Robert Mathis, it chose Freeney 11th overall in the 2002 draft with a hope of building a pass defense around the Syracuse alum. Freeney delivered and will book a Hall of Fame nod on his second try.

Freeney finished second to fellow 2024 inductee Julius Peppers in 2002 Defensive Rookie of the Year voting, but the spin-move maven showed what was ahead by forcing nine forced fumbles as a rookie. The 11-year Colt earned four All-Pro honors, joining Mathis as one of the era’s defining pass-rushing duos. Freeney led the NFL with 16 sacks in 2004 and helped the Colts vanquish their Patriots hurdle en route to a Super Bowl XLI win two years later. The Colts gave Freeney a six-year, $72MM extension in 2007.

The enduring sack artist managed to play five seasons following his Colts career, spending time with the Chargers, Falcons, Cardinals, Seahawks and Lions. Serving as a designated rusher near the end of his career, Freeney helped the Cardinals reach the 2015 NFC championship game, after an eight-sack season, and played in Super Bowl LI with the Falcons.

Randy Gradishar, linebacker (1974-83)**

Widely viewed as one of the best linebackers of his era and one of the game’s best tacklers of any period, Gradishar moves into the Hall via the senior committee route. Gradishar’s selection makes him the first member of the Broncos’ “Orange Crush” defense to be enshrined in Canton. That defensive nucleus powered Denver to its first playoff berth, a 1977 season that included postseason wins over 1970s superpowers Pittsburgh and Oakland en route to Super Bowl XII. The Broncos allowed just 10.6 points per game in 1977. Despite multiple rule changes designed to increase offensive productivity in 1978, the Broncos yielded just 12.4 points per contest that year.

A first-round pick out of Ohio State, Gradishar played his entire career in Denver and earned five All-Pro honors. The above-referenced 1978 season featured perhaps the best team in Steelers history, but Gradishar outflanked “Steel Curtain” cogs by being voted as Defensive Player of the Year after helping the 10-6 Broncos back to the playoffs. The off-ball linebacker added 20 interceptions and four defensive touchdowns in his career.

Devin Hester, return specialist (2006-16)

Almost definitely the greatest return man in NFL history, Hester becomes one of the few true specialists in the Hall of Fame. Dabbling at cornerback and wide receiver, Hester provided the Bears tremendous value as a return specialist. Elite in both the kick- and punt-return capacities, Hester set an NFL record with 20 return touchdowns. Famously adding a kick-return score in the playoffs — to begin Super Bowl XLI — Hester delivered one of the great rookie seasons in NFL history. The Bears second-round pick notched six return TDs in the regular season — one coming on a blocked field goal sprint against the Giants — and added No. 7 against the Colts in the Super Bowl.

Hester’s 2007 season dismissed any fluke notions; he posted six more return scores (four on punts) during his NFL sophomore slate. While producing 17 more TDs on offense over the course of his career, Hester never caught on as a pure wideout in Chicago. But he landed on two All-Decade teams for his return work. Eighteen of Hester’s 19 return TDs came in Chicago. Hester’s 14 punt-return TDs are four more than second place all time (Eric Metcalf); he broke the record for combined kick- and punt-return TDs in only his sixth season (2011).

The Falcons gave Hester a three-year, $9MM contract in 2014; he finished his career splitting time with the Ravens and Seahawks in 2016. Seattle signed Hester just before the 2016 playoffs, using him in both its postseason contests that year.

Andre Johnson, wide receiver (2003-16)

Not collecting a Super Bowl ring like the other two pure wide receiver finalists in this year’s class (Torry Holt, Reggie Wayne), Johnson became well known for putting up monster numbers despite not being gifted a top-tier quarterback. But Johnson operated as one of the most physically imposing receivers in NFL history. The ex-Miami Hurricanes star’s numbers, largely compiled with David Carr and Matt Schaub targeting him, reflect that. Of Johnson’s seven 1,000-yard receiving seasons, four included 1,400-plus. Only Jerry Rice (six) and Julio Jones (five) produced more such seasons. Johnson’s 14,185 career yards rank 11th all time.

The Texans chose Johnson third overall in 2003, the second draft in their history. The 229-pound pass catcher led the NFL in receptions twice and receiving yards in back-to-back years (2008, 2009). Neither of those seasons lifted the Texans to a playoff berth, but Johnson remained in place as the team’s No. 1 wideout when the team finally booked its first two postseason cameos in 2011 and 2012. Johnson amassed 201 yards in two playoff games in 2011, doing so despite Schaub’s injury leaving rookie T.J. Yates at the controls.

Johnson is the Texans’ first Hall of Famer. This is fitting, as he retired with the most games played in Texans history. The longtime WR1 spent 12 years with the team. Johnson signed two Houston extensions spanning at least seven years in length, earning more than $108MM throughout his NFL run. He finished a 14-year career with one season apiece in Indianapolis and Tennessee.

Steve McMichael, defensive tackle (1980-94)**

Part of the storied 1985 Bears’ defense, McMichael played 13 of his 15 NFL seasons in Chicago. A Patriots third-round draftee, McMichael found himself in the Windy City ahead of his second season. The Patriots waived the future D-line mainstay during the 1981 offseason. Teaming with fellow Hall of Famers Dan Hampton and Richard Dent (along with William “The Refrigerator” Perry) on Chicago’s D-line, McMichael earned four All-Pro honors while helping a Bears team — one that saw Jim McMahon injuries impede paths to Super Bowls — become a perennial contender.

The Bears did, of course, break through as champions in 1985. That 18-1 team is on a short list of those in the running for the best ever, allowing only 12.4 points per game and outscoring its playoff opposition 91-10. McMichael started 16 games for the ’85 team and suited up every week for an ’86 Bears defense that statistically outflanked its famed predecessor. Better known by some as part of WCW’s Four Horsemen faction during his wrestling career, “Mongo” finished his gridiron run with 95 sacks (three of them safeties). McMichael closed out his NFL stay with the Packers in 1994. His 92.5 sacks with the Bears are second in franchise history.

Julius Peppers, defensive end (2002-18)*

Five years after retiring, Peppers remains fourth on the NFL’s all-time sack list (159.5). The former Panthers, Bears and Packers pass rusher finished a half-sack shy of Kevin Greene for third. While Greene needed to wait a bit before enshrinement, voters will send Peppers to Canton on his first try. The former North Carolina two-sport standout came into the league with high expectations, going off the 2002 draft board second overall. He justified those, remaining a productive pass rusher into his late 30s. No active sack artist is within 35 of Peppers’ career total. He is among the rare players to land on two All-Decade teams.

Peppers collected six All-Pro honors, three as a first-teamer, and did quite well on the contract front. Peppers’ rookie contract spanned seven years (and $46MM, before the 2011 CBA introduced the slot system), and the Panthers kept him off the market with a franchise tag ahead of Year 8. During the uncapped 2010, Peppers landed a then-record-setting DE pact from the Bears (six years, $84MM). He played four seasons on that deal, and after the Bears made the 6-foot-6 rusher a cap casualty in 2014, Peppers made an impact for three playoff-bound Packers teams in the mid-2010s.

While this can be considered a big night for the Bears — due to the enshrinements of three former players — Peppers played 10 years with the Panthers, returning home to close out his 17-season run. Fifteen years after he won Defensive Rookie of the Year honors in Charlotte, the North Carolina native re-signed with his hometown team. Peppers’ penultimate season brought a 10th double-digit sack showing; he totaled 11 at age 37 to help the Panthers to their most recent playoff berth.

Patrick Willis, linebacker (2007-14)

Willis did not overstay his welcome in the NFL, retiring after his age-29 season. The dominant inside linebacker did not lack for accolades in his eight-year career, racking up six All-Pro honors — including five first-team distinctions. The 49ers nabbed Willis in the 2007 first round and turned him loose. Although San Francisco did not form the Jim HarbaughVic Fangio pairing until Willis’ fifth season, he flashed frequently as a young player and was regarded by many as the NFL’s best off-ball linebacker for an extended period.

The Ole Miss alum picked up Defensive Rookie of the Year acclaim and became the rare player to win that award while earning first-team All-Pro honors. Willis tallied a career-high 174 tackles — including a staggering 136 solo — as a rookie to provide an indication of his capabilities. Willis remained in his prime when Harbaugh and Fangio arrived in 2011. While Harbaugh’s arrival elevated Alex Smith and then Colin Kaepernick, Willis’ presence represented a key part of a defense-geared 49ers blueprint that produced three straight NFC championship games and a berth in Super Bowl XLVII.

Willis teamed with NaVorro Bowman to form one of the great linebacking pairs in modern NFL history. Seeing each soar to the first-team All-Pro perch, the 49ers went second-second-third in scoring defense from 2011-13. After suffering a foot injury midway through the 2014 season, Willis opted to call it quits.

* = denotes first year of eligibility
** = denotes senior candidate

NFC West Notes: 49ers, Willis, Rams, Johnson

At the age of 32, Patrick Willis is in great shape and looks like he could still play football. Is the former 49ers linebacker thinking about making a comeback?

That inclination (to play) only comes for a split second,” he said (via Daniel Brown of the Bay Area News Group). “And then it’s, ‘Nope, nope, I’m cool.”’

Prior to his injury-shortened 2014 season, Willis made the Pro Bowl in seven consecutive seasons. As great as he was, he’s happy in retirement and unwilling to jeopardize his health by playing football.

Here’s more from the NFC West:

  • In a vacuum, Rams cornerback Trumaine Johnson isn’t necessarily worth the franchise tag, but the team can’t afford to lose him either, Alden Gonzalez of writes. After tagging Johnson last year, a repeat tag would cost L.A. roughly $16.75MM. That’s a hefty price to pay, but the Rams don’t have any other standout outside corners and they can’t afford to lose him. Within the article, Gonzalez also raises an interesting idea: the Rams could instead use the franchise tag on strong safety T.J. McDonald, which would cost nearly $11.7MM. Though, as the ESPN scribe notes, that would be quite a surprise. On Wednesday, I examined Johnson and other star players that could be candidates for the franchise tag this offseason.
  • Although they’ve primarily run a 3-4 front in years past, the 49ers are expected to deploy a 4-3 scheme under new defensive coordinator Robert Saleh, reports Adam Caplan of (Twitter link). Given that Saleh had worked under Gus Bradley for the past six seasons, it’s unsurprising that he wants to use a 4-3 look, but the shift could potentially affect what players San Francisco targets in free agency and the draft. The 49ers’ personnel searches have been geared towards a 3-4 scheme for more than a decade.
  • This week, the Cardinals once again made it clear they will not allow Chandler Jones to get near free agency.

Dallas Robinson contributed to this post.

Patrick Willis Says He Won’t Make Comeback

12:35pm: Willis took to social media to shoot down talk of a possible comeback (via Maiocco):



12:03pm: 49ers linebacker Patrick Willis, who retired prior to the 2015 season, is considering a comeback, a source close to the player tells Jason Cole of Bleacher Report (video link). Cole also hears that tackle Anthony Davis, who has hinted at a return on social media, is planning on coming back in 2016. However, a source close to Willis told Matt Maiocco of on Thursday, “I have not heard anything to that effect from Patrick.” The 49ers appear to know nothing about Willis pondering a comeback either.

Prior to a 2014 season cut short by injury, Willis had earned a spot in the Pro Bowl in each of his even seasons, and only turned 30 years old in January. However, when he landed on the injured reserve list back in November, Willis revealed that the toe on which he was undergoing surgery had been a chronic issue, limiting his effectiveness for years.

“I don’t look to play this game for just another year,” Willis told Maiocco at the time. “I feel like I have five or six more great years of football left in my body. Unfortunately, this toe was telling me otherwise.”

We’ll have to wait and see whether Willis is actually thinking about a comeback, but the linebacker has been adamant in the past that he won’t be returning to the gridiron. In March, he told ex-teammate Takeo Spikes that he wasn’t having any second thoughts about his decision.

As for Davis, word of his potential return is less surprising given his comments on Twitter throughout the season. Team sources told Maiocco that Davis would have to “mend fences” within the organization in order to come back, but that won’t be much of a hurdle if he can help the team. The 49ers hold his rights for the next five seasons due to the contract extension the 26-year-old right tackle signed in 2013.

NFC Notes: Eagles, Peterson, Willis, Draft

Wide receiver figures to be a primary area of focus for the Eagles in the draft, and according to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, UCF’s Breshad Perriman is paying a visit to the team today. It’s one of 18 pre-draft visits or private workouts Perriman has on his schedule in advance of the draft — the young wideout has had private workouts for the Giants and Texans, and recently visited the Ravens.

In addition to bringing in Perriman, the Eagles are also taking a look at USC’s Nelson Agholor, with Chip Kelly in Tampa today to work out a player he recruited back in his Oregon days (Twitter link via Kevin O’Donnell of WTVT Fox13).. Philadelphia has previously been linked to Agholor, so it looks like that interest is very genuine.

Here’s more out of the NFC:

  • Former agent Joel Corry of takes an extended, in-depth look at Adrian Peterson‘s situation in Minnesota, suggesting that if the Vikings were to trade the veteran running back, they probably shouldn’t expect more than a second-round pick in return. Corry also identifies seven potential trade partners for the Vikes, with clubs like the Falcons and Chargers joining oft-mentioned suitors such as the Cowboys and Cardinals.
  • Speaking to Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle, Corry says he’d be surprised if the 49ers don’t attempt to recoup a portion of Patrick Willis‘ signing bonus, following the linebacker’s retirement. In Corry’s view, the team could probably recover a minimum of $3.54MM from Willis. Chris Borland, who also retired this offseason, previously indicated he’d be returning three-quarters of his signing bonus to the Niners.
  • Linebacker Darin Drakeford, who participated in last month’s veterans combine, is working out today for the Buccaneers, a league source tells Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun (Twitter link).
  • The Lions continue to examine speedy receiving prospects, bringing in UAB’s J.J. Nelson today for a pre-draft visit, writes Tim Twentyman of

Extra Points: Holmes, Steelers, Cards, Willis

Wide receiver Santonio Holmes isn’t getting any bites this offseason and he told SI Now (video link) that he doesn’t understand why he’s out of a job.

It baffles me a little to know that I’m not a part of any organization,” Holmes said. “It is a gift and a curse at the same time. And I say that because the gift of playing and the opportunity to be a figure in the National Football League. I enjoyed my time. And the curse of having one injury in my entire career that people are now looking at me as if Santonio Holmes is not the guy anymore.”

Many feel that Holmes is no longer the same player after suffering a Lisfranc fracture in 2012 with the Jets. It also doesn’t help that he has a reputation as a difficult locker room presence.

Here’s more from around the NFL:

  • The Steelers haven’t exactly been aggressive in free agency so far, and that approach won’t change anytime soon. Team president Art Rooney II said today that Pittsburgh continues to look at available options, but he isn’t expecting much in the way of upcoming free agent signings, as Mark Kaboly of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review outlines.
  • The Cardinals have been a bit more active in free agency than Pittsburgh, having signed Mike Iupati to a lucrative long-term deal. However, for the most part, GM Steve Keim is on the lookout for bargains, writes Kyle Odegard of
  • Appearing on NBC Sports Network on Thursday, speaking to former teammate Takeo Spikes, Patrick Willis said he’s having no second thoughts about his decision to retire, and adamantly stated there’s no chance he attempts a comeback. Matt Maiocco of has the details and quotes.
  • Former Dolphins quarterback Pat White has announced his retirement, according to the CFL’s Edmonton Eskimos (on Twitter). White only played in the CFL in 2014 and didn’t see the field much with the Eskimos as there were multiple quarterbacks ahead of him on the depth chart. Former Dolphins GM Jeff Ireland drafted White No. 44 overall in 2009 but the West Virginia product did very little on the NFL gridiron.
  • The Cowboys, Saints, Chiefs, and Texans will have some cap work to do between now and the summer, according to Jason Fitzgerald of Over The Cap (Twitter links). Meanwhile, the Browns, Jaguars, Titans, and Buccaneers figure to have lots of cap space leftover (Twitter link).

Luke Adams contributed to this post.

Patrick Willis, Justin Smith Expected To Retire

TUESDAY, 10:05am: The 49ers have officially announced in a press release that Willis is retiring.

MONDAY, 2:14pm: Speaking to Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee, Smith said today that he still isn’t quite ready to formally announce his retirement.

“I’m going to decide by next week probably,” Smith said. “So you’ll know by then. It’s not 100 percent.”

Multiple reports have indicated that Smith will call it a career, but only the veteran defender himself can make that decision official. Mike Garafolo of Fox Sports notes (via Twitter) that the 49ers would be willing to explore options to limit the physical toll on Smith if he wanted to come back.

9:57am: According to Florio, Willis will in fact retire, with a formal announcement expected to come on Tuesday. Florio confirms that Smith will also call it a career, meaning two longtime cornerstones for the 49ers defense will retire this offseason.

Smith, 35, spent seven years in San Francisco after a seven-year stint with the Bengals. For his career, he appeared in 221 total regular season contests, racking up 87 total sacks and earning spots in five consecutive Pro Bowls from 2009 to 2013.

Willis, who played and started 112 games for the Niners, averaged nearly 119 tackles per season during his NFL career, even taking into account his abridged 2014 campaign.

9:18am: The big 49ers news hinted at by Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk earlier today appears to involve linebacker Patrick Willis. According to Rand Getlin of Yahoo! Sports (via Twitter), the 49ers are bracing for the loss of Willis, who is expected to retire from the NFL.

While the Niners had been preparing for the possibility that veteran defensive end Justin Smith decides to call it a career this winter, the news of Willis potentially deciding to end his career comes as a surprise. Prior to a 2014 season cut short by injury, Willis had earned a spot in the Pro Bowl in each of his even seasons, and only turned 30 years old in January.

However, when he landed on the injured reserve list back in November, Willis revealed that the toe on which he was undergoing surgery had been a chronic issue, limiting his effectiveness for years.

“I don’t look to play this game for just another year,” Willis told Matt Maiocco of at the time. “I feel like I have five or six more great years of football left in my body. Unfortunately, this toe was telling me otherwise.”

We’ve yet to hear from Willis himself that he’ll retire, and even if he does decide to bow out of the NFL, it’s not clear that it’s entirely due to the toe issues. However, given his stated desire to play “five or six more” seasons, the veteran linebacker presumably wouldn’t announce his retirement unless he felt his body wouldn’t allow him to continue playing.

With two years still left on his contract, Willis is due a salary north of $7MM for 2015, so if he were to retire, the 49ers would create about $7.425MM in cap savings. While the loss of Willis in the middle of their defense would be significant, the Niners appear to have uncovered a gem in 2014 draftee Chris Borland, who could start for the team alongside NaVorro Bowman in 2015.

A recent report suggested San Francisco was shopping inside linebacker Michael Wilhoite, who stepped in as a starter for the club last season when Bowman and Willis were injured. If Willis does retire, the team may be more inclined to keep Wilhoite in the mix rather than selling him off for a late-round draft pick.

NFC West Notes: 49ers, Hayne, Smith

The 49ers have emerged as the frontrunners for Australian rugby league star Jarryd Hayne, according to Michael Chammas of The Sydney Morning Herald. There has been mutual interest between the two sides for some time and Chammas hears that the 49ers are likely to be the call when he announces his decision on Tuesday. Hayne is also considering offers from the Lions and Seahawks, according to the report. Here’s more from the NFC West..

  • Justin Smith is contemplating retirement, but there’s cautious optimism among the 49ers that he’ll return for one last season, according to Matt Barrows of The Sacramento Bee. Smith is set to meet with head coach Jim Tomsula later this week to discuss a potential future together. Despite the injuries he has dealt with, Smith is still regarded as one of the top defensive linemen in the league. Smith, for his part, looks like he’s in great shape and from just looking at him it would seem like he’s not ready to ride off into the sunset.
  • While veteran cuts are likely coming for the 49ers, it doesn’t appear as if linebackers Patrick Willis and NaVorro Bowman are going anywhere, says Matt Maiocco of
  • Examining the Seahawks‘ coming offseason, Jason Fitzgerald of Over The Cap writes that the team probably doesn’t need to make a major push to bring back any of its unrestricted free agents. Byron Maxwell, specifically, could command a contract that exceeds his true value, given the limited number of top cornerback options available, Fitzgerald writes.

Luke Adams contributed to this post.

NFC Links: Willis, Bowman, Johnson, Cobb

The 49ers have a pair of decisions to make on their All-Pro inside linebackers, who are scheduled to make nearly $14MM in 2015. Patrick Willis and NaVorro Bowman both missed significant time with injuries last year, but replacements Chris Borland and Michael Wilhoite filled in admirably. However, general manager Trent Baalke is confident both Willis and Bowman will be back next season, writes Matt Maiocco of“I think if you look into those numbers, they’re not as daunting as you might think,” Baalke said.

Here are some more links from around the NFC:

  • The 49ers also have a decision to make on veteran receiver Stevie Johnson. There is much debate over whether the team will release him or ask him to take a pay cut to stay with the team, writes Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk. Florio adds that the club is unlikely to release him without first trying to negotiate a new contract number.
  • The Packers have a huge question mark on offense as the team has not made progress in extension talks with Randall Cobb, but the team is still focused on re-signing the star slot receiver, writes Rob Demovsky in his mailbag for ESPN.
  • There has also been rumors that the Buccaneers have asked star wide receiver Vincent Jackson to take a pay cut, but that is not true according to Florio. He writes that the team could ask him to do so down the line, but more than likely won’t since they believe he is an important part of the team and that his contract reflects the current market for wide receivers.

Brandon Mebane, Patrick Willis Out For Year

4:38pm: Both Mebane and Willis have now officially been placed on IR by their respective teams.

12:19pm: Two key defensive players on NFC West contenders will be sidelined for the rest of the season with injuries, according to multiple reports. Seahawks defensive tackle Brandon Mebane has suffered a torn hamstring that will end his season, tweets Mike Garafolo of FOX Sports, , who also reported (via Twitter) that 49ers linebacker Patrick Willis was likely to undergo season-ending surgery. A source confirms to Matt Maiocco of (Twitter link) that the Niners are placing Willis, who has a toe injury, on season-ending injured reserve.

The losses are significant ones for the Seahawks and 49ers, who currently rank second and third, respectively, in a competitive NFC West division. Mebane has been Seattle’s best interior defensive lineman this season, and his absence figures to mean increased playing time for Jordan Hill, Kevin Williams, and Tony McDaniel. The Seahawks may also add another defensive tackle to their roster — the team has Jimmy Staten on its practice squad, and worked out free agent Michael Brooks today, per Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun (via Twitter).

As for the Niners, while Willis will very much be missed, the team does have reinforcements on the way. Rookie Chris Borland has been excellent in an increased role over San Francisco’s last two games, and Aldon Smith was reinstated today following his nine-game suspension. NaVorro Bowman may also return within the next few weeks, assuming he doesn’t have any setbacks on his way back from last year’s knee injury.

Neither team has officially placed its injured player on IR yet, but an announcement should come soon in both cases.

49ers Re-Sign Alfonso Smith; Willis To IR

1:54pm: The 49ers have officially re-signed Smith and placed linebacker Patrick Willis on IR, the team announced in a press release. We learned earlier today that Willis’ toe injury would sideline him for the rest of the season.

8:49am: After carrying just two running backs on their active roster for most of the season, the 49ers are re-signing a third back, Alfonso Smith, according to his representatives at HOF Player Representatives (Twitter link). Smith will join veteran Frank Gore and rookie Carlos Hyde in the team’s backfield.

Smith, 27, spent his first four seasons in the NFL with the division-rival Cardinals, working as a backup. For his career, Smith has 48 carries for 156 yards and two touchdowns. In 2013, he played on nearly 50% of Arizona’s special teams snaps, and he’ll likely be asked to contribute in that capacity in San Francisco, assuming he’s active on game days. Smith also spent some time this preseason with the 49ers, but was cut at the end of August when the club reduced its roster from 75 players to 53.

Running back depth appeared to be one of the Niners’ strengths heading into the summer, but since then, LaMichael James has been cut, Kendall Hunter suffered a torn ACL, and Marcus Lattimore retired due to knee issues. In addition to signing Smith, San Francisco is also expected to activate linebacker Aldon Smith, who has finished serving his nine-game suspension, so we should expect to see a pair of cuts from the team within the next few days.