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.