49ers are releasing veteran wide receiver, who is still only 28
According to sources @TorreySmithWR will be released, and become a free agent! Happy hunting my dude pic.twitter.com/w428ad6wxh— Steve Smith Sr (@89SteveSmith) March 6, 2017
Smith signed a five-year, $40 million contract with San Francisco in 2015 after four years with the Baltimore Ravens. The 49ers won only seven games in his two seasons, and with instability on the sidelines and at quarterback, Smith’s production did not match his contract. In 28 games with San Francisco, he caught only 53 passes.
In four years with the Ravens, quarterbacked by Joe Flacco, Smith never caught fewer than 49 passes. His best season was 2013, when he caught 65 passes for 1,128 yards, 17.4 yards per catch.
The Giants could use a vertical threat to complement Odell Beckham Jr. and Sterling Shepard. The 6-foot-1, 205-pound has been that throughout his career, averaging 17.0 yards per catch on 266 receptions.
Smith is still only 28 years old. After the news broke that Smith would be released, Matt Harmon of Reception Perception tweeted “Still strongly believe Torrey Smith can help a team.”
David Fucillo of SB Nation’s 49ers web site, Niners Nation, also thinks Smith could flourish in the right situation.
Smith had a pretty bad two seasons in San Francisco, thanks primarily to the fact that the 49ers had questionable QB play.
I think Smith still has plenty left in the tank, but he needs the right kind of situation. He is a strong deep threat, although he still has somewhat shaky hands. He is best suited as a 1a or 2 receiver. He can take over a game with his speed, but you need a consistent possession receiver, or if you’re lucky enough a generally strong No. 1 receiver starting opposite him. He is not going to make a mediocre or bad quarterback good, but with a solid QB (see Flacco, Joe), he can be a very dangerous weapon. Considering how the past two years went for the 49ers, there is absolutely zero surprise that he proved to be a waste of money.
Smith is a solid locker room guy, who was plenty willing to stand before the media when things were going bad. He was a little pouty at times on the sideline, but it’s hard to blame him given how awful the 49ers were.
The Giants, of course, have Eli Manning at quarterback. Manning isn’t Tom Brady, but he isn’t Colin Kaepernick or Blaine Gabbert, either. The Giants also have Beckham — and Shepard. They would need Smith to stretch the field, not to be their primary receiver.
Would you like to see the Giants pursue Smith?