The 49ers have announced that defensive tackle and five-time Pro Bowler Justin Smith has retired. The 35-year-old Smith missed just two games in his 14-year career, which he completes with 613 tackles, 87 sacks and much appreciation from the organization. He played in every game aside from in 2012. "Tough. Physical. Durable. Hard-working. Dedicated. Selfless. Justin embodies each of those qualities and brought even more with him to work each and every day," said 49ers CEO Jed York via the team website. "Whether it was chasing down a wide receiver and forcing a fumble to seal a win, or driving a tackle back into the quarterback's chest, he gave everything he had every play. Justin ... will always be remembered as one of the 49ers all-time greats." General manager Trent Blake added that Smith had "durability" and "rare stamina."
49ers defensive end Justin Smith is working out in San Jose, but coach Jim Tomsula said that people shouldn't draw any conclusions from that. "Don't read into that either," Tomsula said, per 49ers.com. "Justin Smith is going to be working out for the rest of his life. That's who he is." Smith was supposed to meet with GM Trent Baalke on Friday to discuss whether he planned to play next season. Tomsula didn't have an update. "I haven't seen him or talked to him," he said. "That time will come. We're not trying to make it a saga. We're really not."
49ers general manager Trent Baalke is planning to meet with defensive end Justin Smith on Wednesday and Thursday of this week to figure out his retirement plans, according to SiriusXM NFL Radio. Smith, the 35-year-old veteran, has said he will make his decision this month on whether he will retire. Smith has missed just two games in his 15-year career. He totaled 43 tackles with five sacks in 2014 for San Francisco.
49ers defensive end Justin Smith plans to sit down with team officials in May and decide whether he'll return for one more season, the Sacramento Bee reports. "You'll know in about three weeks or so," Smith said Monday. Smith wouldn't say which way he was leaning. He indicated that the the team's decision to draft a defensive lineman in the first round of the draft did not signal his impending retirement. "We gave Justin liberty to make his own decision on his time frame," Baalke said after selecting Arik Armstead Thursday. "We went into the draft not thinking about what decision Justin's going to make or not going to make. We just went in to find the best football player, the best system fit that we could."
The 49ers are waiting to hear if defensive end Justin Smith will play in the 2015 season. The veteran is considering retirement. General manager Trent Baalke said that Smith's uncertainty played no role in the team's decision to draft defensive end Arik Armstead in the first round of the draft. "I said this to many of you the last time we met: We gave Justin liberty to make his own decision on his time frame," Baalke said, per the Mercury News. "So we went into the draft not thinking about what decision Justin's going to make or not going to make. We just went in to find the best football player, the best system fit we could."