Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports


49ers officially release WR Torrey Smith

Mar 7, 2017 at 9:38 AM--


As newly-hired San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan walked the halls of the team's headquarters for the first time, he ran into one of his inherited players and that player's son. The player was wide receiver Torrey Smith. After the two exchanged pleasantries and after hearing his new head coach during his introductory press conference, Smith was excited to play for Shanahan and even more excited about what his offense might mean for him.

"I'm able to turn little things into big plays and stretch the field," Smith said on KNBR in February. "That's one thing that we'll do, especially coming off a year like this where I didn't even get one chance at doing what I do best so I'm excited about playing in this offense where I know [Shanahan will] dial it up."

A month later, Smith is no longer on the roster. Following two down seasons, the 49ers have officially cut ties with Smith – releasing him after informing the wideout on Monday that he would not be back with the team. The receiver was hoping that Shanahan could resurrect his career and the feeling among many analysts was that Smith was improperly utilized by the past two coaching regimes – so there was hope that increased production was a possibility. However, 2017 would have been his third system in as many years while with the 49ers.

Now, Smith will try to catch on with a new team – or perhaps his previous team – via free agency and look to resurrect his career elsewhere.

"The 49ers would like to thank Torrey for representing this organization with tremendous class over the last two years," said general manager John Lynch via a statement issued by the team. "I have always had great respect for his skill as a player and as a wonderful example of how professional athletes can use their platform to make a difference in our community. We wish Torrey, and his family, all the best."

Torrey Smith, who was with the team for just two seasons, was brought in after four productive seasons with the Baltimore Ravens. Each of his season totals with the 49ers became the lowest of his career. Smith had just 53 catches for 930 yards and seven touchdowns during his time with the 49ers.

During his four seasons with the Ravens, which included a Super Bowl XLVII victory over the 49ers, Smith had averaged over 53 catches per season and averaged nearly 898 receiving yards. During his two seasons with the 49ers, those averages dropped to under 27 catches per season and 465 receiving yards.

In 2016, Smith had the worst statistical season of his six-year career. He caught just 20 passes for 267 yards and three touchdowns. Each of the three statistics are career lows. Smith finished the season on the injured reserve list after suffering a concussion on December 11 against the New York Jets.

Smith was scheduled to count nearly $9.5 million against the cap in 2016 and then $9.6 million during each of the next two years with a base salary of $6.5 million during each year. Cutting him saves the team nearly $4.7 million in cap space, but creates $4.8 million in dead money.

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