Santa Clara, CA (SportsNetwork.com) – While the San Francisco 49ers continue
to deal with a slew of offseason defections, the team made a significant
addition on Wednesday’s second day of free agency.
The 49ers announced that they have reached an agreement on a five-year
contract with wide receiver Torrey Smith, who joins the club after four
productive seasons with the Baltimore Ravens.
Smith recorded 213 receptions totaling 3,591 yards and 30 touchdowns,
including a career-high 11 last season, during his tenure in Baltimore and
brings a needed big-play element to a San Francisco offense that struggled to
produce many in 2014. The speedy 26-year-old has averaged nearly 17 yards per
catch over his career and surpassed the 1,000-yard mark in 2013, when he
amassed 1,128 on 65 grabs.
The 49ers ranked 28th in the NFL in yards per pass attempt last season. Of
their top three wideouts from 2014, Anquan Boldin, Michael Crabtree and Steve
Johnson, none averaged more than 12.8 yards per reception.
Smith’s addition increases the likelihood that Crabtree, an unrestricted free
agent as well, will not be retained. The move also reunites Smith with Boldin,
his teammate with the Ravens from 2011-12.
Coming off a disappointing 8-8 campaign in 2014, San Francisco entered this
offseason in a significant transition phase. Head coach Jim Harbaugh mutually
parted ways with the organization in December to take the same position
Michigan, while perennial All-Pro linebacker Patrick Willis surprisingly
announced his retirement on Monday.
Three other cornerstone players, running back Frank Gore, defensive end Justin
Smith and guard Mike Iupati, are also not expected back in 2015. Justin Smith
is believed to be retiring as well, while Gore and Iupati have signed with
Indianapolis and Arizona, respectively.