Skip to content

Does Justin Smith want to return to the NFL?

Justin Smith 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.

Permalink 35 Comments Feed for comments Latest Stories in: Rumor Mill, San Francisco 49ers, Top Stories
35 Responses to “Does Justin Smith want to return to the NFL?”
  1. udkidd says: Feb 26, 2016 9:03 PM

    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. oldcrabb says: Feb 26, 2016 9:06 PM

    The next Bull is Willis and Borland will return next season.

  3. fieldofgeep says: Feb 26, 2016 9:07 PM

    Do you blame him? The niners are a train wreck.

  4. tonebones says: Feb 26, 2016 9:13 PM

    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.

  5. whiteybulgersson says: Feb 26, 2016 9:28 PM

    Haha the 49ers, NFLs red headed step child in the NFC.

  6. orivar says: Feb 26, 2016 9:30 PM

    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.

  7. fantasyomega says: Feb 26, 2016 9:51 PM

    If you think Justin Smith retired due to a GM, then you don’t know the Cowboy

  8. raiderrob21 says: Feb 26, 2016 10:06 PM

    Funny how both he and Anthony Davis take a year off and are “rumored” to come back. PED issue?

  9. tigerlilac says: Feb 26, 2016 10:09 PM

    Smith was a great player.

    That said, the off-season sucks. How long before the first real game?

  10. huh6016 says: Feb 26, 2016 10:15 PM

    Not a lot to talk about in Indy I guess…..

  11. explosionsauce says: Feb 26, 2016 10:20 PM

    Daily dump on the niners, check!

  12. thegreatgabbert says: Feb 26, 2016 10:20 PM

    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….

  13. mongo3401 says: Feb 26, 2016 10:22 PM

    Seems like incognito started a trend. Take a year off, recoup, train her rear end off and come back. Best of luck Mr Smith.

  14. rainponcho87 says: Feb 26, 2016 10:27 PM

    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.

  15. ariani1985 says: Feb 26, 2016 11:04 PM

    Come to green Bay! we pride ourselves in playoff failures!

  16. friscokid49 says: Feb 26, 2016 11:05 PM

    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

  17. ppc50 says: Feb 27, 2016 12:06 AM

    Though he plays end in a 3-4, I would like to see him in Dallas for a 6th or 7th rounder. He could play DT

  18. kevingreene160sacknoHOFclub says: Feb 27, 2016 12:50 AM

    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.

  19. chrispin53 says: Feb 27, 2016 1:01 AM

    I love this guy, probably best he stays retired at 37, but if he did return I’m rooting for him.

  20. jfinn5 says: Feb 27, 2016 1:06 AM

    I love Smith but he has no value. 37 years old and one year out of football. Really?

  21. bigdog2372 says: Feb 27, 2016 1:08 AM

    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.

  22. laffers says: Feb 27, 2016 2:16 AM

    Assuming his wishes to return are true, can this “space cadet”, EVER,be relied upon?

  23. lightofkolob says: Feb 27, 2016 2:24 AM

    The Tomsula hire killed the 9ers

  24. thebillscouldeventuallymove says: Feb 27, 2016 2:50 AM

    Yawn is it really that slow going that we need to talk about a guy who’s 37 been out of football a year and “might” be “thinking” about “possibly” returning

  25. number1hawkfan says: Feb 27, 2016 4:05 AM

    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.

  26. ohand16 says: Feb 27, 2016 6:07 AM

    Apparently no one cares

  27. dtroxallday says: Feb 27, 2016 7:07 AM

    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.

  28. joenash72 says: Feb 27, 2016 9:57 AM

    Delusion and false bravado is what makes ’em Santa Clara fans😉

  29. bassplucker says: Feb 27, 2016 11:18 AM

    The Bears should draft A’Shawn Robinson and then hire Smith to coach him up.

  30. paulieorkid says: Feb 27, 2016 11:18 AM

    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.

  31. corvaninerfan says: Feb 27, 2016 11:54 AM

    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.

  32. rainponcho87 says: Feb 27, 2016 12:15 PM

    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?”

  33. zinnsand21 says: Feb 27, 2016 4:42 PM

    It would be a tall order for a 37 year old guy with the mileage and injuries he had to take a year off then come back and play at the level he played.

  34. axespray says: Feb 27, 2016 5:43 PM

    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.

  35. niners806 says: Feb 28, 2016 11:33 AM

    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

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!