How much of a cut is he willing to take? That’s the big question for the 49’ers when it comes to linebacker Derek Smith. The SF Chronicle is reporting that Smith’s agent and the 49’ers have begun talks to keep him in San Fran, but that Smith due to make $3.3 mil this next season, the team will likely ask him to drop that figure so that they can go after other free agents, like the Bears Pro Bowl LB Lance Briggs, who will be hitting the market at the end of February.
Of course if the team can lure Briggs, Smith will be riding the bench, and there’s no way the club is going to pay $3.3 mil for a backup linebacker. With that, look for Smith to be asked to, and to eventually take a pay cut to free up money for Briggs, or for whoever the team goes after. The Niners need playmakers on both sides of the ball, and this year in free agency they plan on going out and getting it.