With Bengals DE Justin Smith set to hit the free agent market, there will be a number of teams looking to acquire his services. The Bengals will likely lose Smith after they put the franchise tag on O-lineman Stacy Andrews instead of Smith, a former first-round draft choice of Cincy. One team that appears to have their sights set on Smith is the 49’ers. Today’s Santa Rosa Press Democrat is reporting that the 49’ers will show interest in Smith, as right now they have undersized Marques Douglas at right end.
Douglas has been at the spot for the last three seasons, but now with Smith on the market, it might be time for San Fran to move on and upgrade. Smith is a solid player at that spot at 6-foot-4, 274 pounds, and has the size and speed to make plays. Getting Smith will not be cheap mind you, as he reportedly is going to command a long deal, between 5 and 7 seasons, and may be looking for up to $15 mil in guarantees.
So it will be interesting with free agency just over a week away what a team like the Niners do, and how much of a push they make for a guy like Smith. They have money under the cap so they could afford a player like Smith, but have to be careful, like all teams, to get the biggest bang for their buck. Signing Smith could go a long way in getting their defense headed more in the right direction.