NFL Network’s newest analyst apparently hasn’t had the Warren Sapp seminar yet.
Retired receiver Steve Smith reports that current 49ers receiver Torrey Smith will be released by the team. (Steve and Torrey Smith were teammates in Baltimore in 2014.)
Torrey Smith arrived in San Francisco via free agency in 2015, signing a five-year, $40 million contract. He would exit with $16 million for two seasons, leaving a cap charge of $4.8 million.
From a cap standpoint, the question becomes whether he’ll be cut after the start of the new league year with a post-June 1 designation (that would limit the cap charge to $1.6 million in 2017) or whether the 49ers will simply wipe the contract off the books completely, taking the full hit now. With the 49ers swimming in cap space, the distinction doesn’t really matter.
The move also would avoid a $6.5 million salary for 2017 (it would become fully guaranteed on April 1), a $375,000 roster bonus, and a $1 million workout bonus.
Although Steve Smith’s report is accurate (a source with knowledge of the situation confirms that it’s indeed happening), Warren Sapp’s claim from five years ago that Jeremy Shockey was the Saints bounty “snitch” created a genuine sensitivity at NFL Network to non-reporters reporting news on Twitter or elsewhere. It will be interesting to see whether the league-owned media outlet applies that standard across the board or only when a report is controversial and/or defamatory.