Does Justin Smith want to return to the NFL?

AP

Last year’s exodus from San Francisco included the not-so-unexpected retirement of defensive lineman Justin Smith, a first-round pick in 2001 who has split his 14-year career equally between Cincinnati and San Francisco.

Now, a year after Smith retired, there’s a rumor that perhaps he’d be interested in playing again.

A league source shared with PFT at the Scouting Combine the intriguing rumor of talk that Smith would like to play again, but that he doesn’t want to play for the 49ers.

The problem for Smith is that the 49ers continue to control his rights. If he returns, they’d be entitled to his services for the balance of a contract that was tolled when he walked away. He could be traded, but another team would have to be willing to give value to the 49ers for a guy who has been out of the league for a full year — and who will turn 37 in September.

It’s unlikely he’ll be back, but talk regarding the possibility is currently present in Indianapolis.

35 responses to “Does Justin Smith want to return to the NFL?

  1. He doesn’t want to return. He’s just got the itch that most retired players get. He’s most likely not even in shape and with his age.

  2. It’s all Smith’s fault. It’s all Kaepernick’s fault. It’s all Harbaugh’s fault. It’s definitely not the 49ers’. It’s everyone else.

  3. If it’s true he could make a depth signing or assistant position coach for a team. Being a lineman at 37 is kind of unheard of but the man was kind of a freak and the year off could of increased his treads.

  4. Sounds like a good case for trading a performance based draft pick for his playing rights. If Justin makes a difference on a competing team, they would not mind sacrificing a meaningful pick for his services. If not, well….

  5. wow as a long time Niners fan, it just gets depressing hearing about players not wanting to be there. Thanks Jed. For the love of God, please sell the team.

  6. so either these guys walked away because

    a) jed York, York Family and pet paraag are incompetent

    b) doofus was hired (tomsula) who was incompetent

    c) they didn’t like how the only successful coach paraag and jed hired was backstabed

  7. I think Jim Harbaugh’s family and friends have to be a little concerned that several times a day he busts out in unprovoked laughter.

  8. I’d give up one of our 6th round picks to bring him to my Bucs. He’d be a really solid veteran voice for what will be a VERY young DLine next year. I’d expect us to draft at least 2 contributors on our line and even our most experienced guy (GMac) is still relatively young and can use an older vet to take the leadership burden off of him.

  9. Was reading the previous article on Pete Carrol maybe getting an extension. You read the comments and it’s these niner fans talking trash. It’s been over 20 years since your last championship, nobody wants to play for that joke of a team down there and you all are praying kaperchoke comes back. What are you all so proud of?? The false bravado coming from these niner fans is funny. Their delusion is off the charts.

  10. Seems like a meaningless post. If SF still “owns” him yet he doesn’t want to play for them and he’s 37 years old…move along, nothing to see here. No one’s going to buy out his contract to gain his services for a very expensive year or 2. An aged D-lineman isn’t the one missing link to anyone’s Super Bowl run.

  11. Smith is a horse, and even at his age – put a lot of pressure on OLs and offensive backfields.

    A lot of the people posting in here seem to be completely clueless of the fact that Justin Smith was a horse all the way up to his last season (2014), so YES — this is a relevant story.

  12. Justin isn’t going to play again…during the Harbaugh era, he (and the other DL starters) played a ridiculous amount of snaps. They all got beat up. He’s smart enough to know if he came back it’d start all over again. When you’ve been in the league for 14 tough years, it takes a huge toll on your body. He hinted he’d like to coach someday…that’s the only way I see him returning to the NFL.

  13. Was reading the previous article on Pete Carrol maybe getting an extension. You read the comments and it’s these niner fans talking trash. It’s been over 20 years since your last championship, nobody wants to play for that joke of a team down there and you all are praying kaperchoke comes back. What are you all so proud of?? The false bravado coming from these niner fans is funny. Their delusion is off the charts.
    ——————–

    It’s a competitive league. May take the Seahawks a long time to get back to the Super Bowl too. You are 1-2 in the big game. Over more than 4o years. Niner fans could also ask “what are you so proud of?”

  14. ariani1985 says:
    Feb 26, 2016 11:04 PM
    Come to green Bay! we pride ourselves in playoff failures!
    ————————
    The vikings have 1 playoff win since they passed on Rodgers in the 05 draft.

    The 49ers went to three conference title games, The Packers have played in 3 and won a Superbowl.

    Try making a chip shot field goal, then talk.

  15. Oh yeah Florio the 49ers could really use a 37 year old that’s been out of football for a whole year lol I loved Justin Smith from 2008-2012 but his last couple of years he was clearly declining

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