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Panthers sign Reggie Smith

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Former 49ers safety Reggie Smith was included in the PFT Hot 100 largely because he looked like a promising prospect coming out of Oklahoma in 2008. Smith was a starting cornerback for the Sooners, has plus size, and has shown quality effort on special teams. He was on track to be San Francisco’s starting free safety last year, before Dashon Goldson returned unexpectedly on a below-market deal two weeks into training camp.

The Niners didn’t seem to show any interest in Smith once he hit the free agent market, however, and on Wednesday the Carolina Panthers announced that they’ve the 25-year-old defensive back.

“Reggie has been on our radar since the beginning of free agency and is a player we think can come in and compete at safety,” said G.M. Marty Hurney.

The signings of Smith and Haruki Nakamura have officially put Panthers starting free safety Sherrod Martin on notice. Martin struggled throughout last season and will now face competition.

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19 Responses to “Panthers sign Reggie Smith”
  1. weekendatberniemadoffs says: Apr 4, 2012 12:04 PM

    signing smith and nakamura may not pan out, but one thing’s for sure.. rivera is addressing the special teams with a vengeance. i am curious to what are niners fans opinons of smith?

  2. ninerdynasty says: Apr 4, 2012 12:05 PM

    Sad to see him go. This guy can be a play maker if he stays healthy, He had Goldson (a pro-bowler ) on the bench last year until he got hurt… good luck to him..

  3. ray3rd says: Apr 4, 2012 12:12 PM

    Martin was unquestionably the worst player on a bad defense last year. I don’t know if Smith or Nakamura are the answers at free safety, but in my opinion that’s the biggest question on the Panthers’ defense.

  4. dionoil says: Apr 4, 2012 12:13 PM

    Sherrod martin needs to go

  5. 49erlifer says: Apr 4, 2012 12:20 PM

    Sad to see him go he should start for carolina he made plays when he was on the field good luck reggie.

  6. nineroutsider says: Apr 4, 2012 12:29 PM

    Reggie is going to start in Carolina; he has a lot of potential. Sad to see him go and was hoping they’d sign him back, but I know he wants to start. Carloina fans will be happy with this signing.

  7. eastcoastninerfan says: Apr 4, 2012 12:34 PM

    Really didn’t want to lose him but glad he ended up in Carolina. Always thought high of him and he always has shown promise. Best of luck Reggie!

  8. stampede101 says: Apr 4, 2012 12:45 PM

    I wish the Niners could’ve found a way to keep him…secondary is kinda deep now though. Solid special teams guy and has the tools to be a starting safety in the right system. And can lay a hat on someone coming over the middle as good as anyone. Good luck in Carolina Reggie!

  9. thesportgenius says: Apr 4, 2012 12:53 PM

    Not really a playmaker, always seems to take a slightly off angle or be a step late to the ball. Obviously the Niners see him as expendable but he’s a good guy & best of luck.

  10. sportsmeccabi says: Apr 4, 2012 12:58 PM

    If this guy is just below average, he will start in Carolina and be a massive upgrade. Good signing Hurney and Rivera.

  11. docbp says: Apr 4, 2012 1:05 PM

    This is a good pickup by Carolina. Smith has the talent to be a starting safety, but has been stuck behind two really good safeties on the 49ers. As a 49er fan, I was hoping he would return, but I understand that having a chance to compete for the starting spot would make Carolina pretty appealing. This looks like another good off season move by Carolina. They will clearly be a team to watch this season.

  12. duncanh89 says: Apr 4, 2012 1:20 PM

    He never really got a chance to start here in SF, but he was a pretty poor tackler when he did fill in for injuries or in packages that needed extra DBs.

  13. johnnyshore says: Apr 4, 2012 1:26 PM


    I’m a Niner fan and I’m sad to see him go. I wasn’t too worried about losing Dashon Goldson (pro-bowler) to free agency if it were to happen because I think Reggie would be able to come in and replace him decently. It will not surprise me at all if Smith goes on to become a very good, if not pro-bowl type player for the Panthers.

  14. 49erstim says: Apr 4, 2012 1:29 PM

    His game could improve in several areas like tackling, and angles, but he is good and will get better for you. Good Luck Mr Smith!

  15. homelanddefense says: Apr 4, 2012 2:04 PM

    I still have no idea why the partriots werent all over this guy. A cheap option and he is better than almost any safety they have. (Besides Chung)

  16. shaunypoo says: Apr 4, 2012 2:04 PM

    Nakamura was good in college and was solid on special teams for the Ravens. Always watch the UC alums. Hope he can take the next step.

  17. blacknole08 says: Apr 4, 2012 3:19 PM

    I like the signings we have made on defense so far this off-season. Hopefully we can get a corner like Asante Samuel in a trade and then we will be set in the secondary.

  18. macklinr61 says: Apr 4, 2012 5:14 PM

    Panther fans are going to like Reggie Smith. Watch highlights of the Nners game against the Bengals to see his late 4th qtr INT. Sealed the game. Reggie is sometimes late to the ball but when he gets there he brings it.

  19. niners53 says: Apr 7, 2012 1:21 PM

    Weekend at bernie madoffs, you are gonna like Reggie. I believe he will definitely win the starting job for Carolina this year and you guys are gonna be happy with what he brings to the table. The Niners would have loved to have him back, but after the season he expressed to the coaching staff that he wanted to be a starter. They knew that they were going to bring back Goldson w the franchise tag or a contract at that point so they mutually decided to part ways. He has the potential to be an allpro if your pass rush can create some pressure on the front end and not leave your DBs hanging… Good Luck Reggie, you will be missed.

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