Torrey Smith was once the prized free agent acquisition for the San Francisco 49ers.
On Monday, the 49ers made the decision to release Smith after only two seasons with the team. Former Baltimore Ravens teammate turned NFL Network analyst Steve Smith Sr. first reported the news.
Smith had signed a five-year, $40 million contract with the 49ers after four tremendous seasons with the Ravens. During those two campaigns, the former Terrapin caught just 53 passes for 930 yards and seven touchdowns.
Those two seasons were the least productive of Smith’s NFL career. Smith never had less than 767 receiving yards, 92 targets, and 49 receptions.
Part of the reason for the decline in 2016 was the emergence of wide receiver Jeremy Kerley. The former New York Jets wideouts caught 64 passes for 667 yards and three touchdowns.
Over the weekend, the 49ers elected to re-sign Kerley and followed it up by cutting ties with the former Terp.
San Francisco had about as subpar of quarterback play as a team can have during Smith’s time in the Bay Area. The 49ers used Colin Kaepernick and Blaine Gabbert under center and neither has been all that impressive over the past two seasons.
Upon his release, Smith certainly won’t have a shortage of suitors that will be looking to sign him.
Several teams are in need of help at the wide receiver position. A reunion with the Ravens is a possibility if the team doesn’t pick up the option of Mike Wallace.
The Philadelphia Eagles were linked to Smith on multiple occasions as a trade target. The Cleveland Browns, New York Giants, and Tennessee Titans also could be in the market for wideout help.
There are several high-profile receivers on the free agent market, including DeSean Jackson, Alshon Jeffery and Terrelle Pryor. Kenny Britt, Pierre Garcon, and Kenny Stills also figure to get a significant amount of interest as lesser options.
Regardless of where he ends up, Smith is a home-run threat with tremendous speed. The former second round pick caught 19 touchdown passes during his three years in College Park.
It certainly wouldn’t be a surprise for Smith to have a resurgent season in 2017.