"For four years, you see the d-linemen we've brought in. We've been making preparations," Tomsula said. "This isn't a 'this year' thing for us. We've been making preparations. The guy gets to 12 years in the NFL and he's at about a 92-percent rep count playing defensive line, you better start making preparations. So that started a while ago."
Tomsula added that he will not rush Smith into a decision.
"The guy's played a lot of football, right? He's obviously near and dear to my heart," Tomsula said. "I'm not going there. He can go do his thing with his family. We'll get to it. We will.”
Tomsula said he spoke with Smith last week and the topic of retirement wasn't discussed.
“[It’s] exactly where it’s been. Same place," Tomsula said. "I have nothing to report. Yeah, we’ve talked. He’s working out, but no decisions have been made either way.”
The 49ers have already had two players surprisingly retire this offseason. Veteran linebacker Patrick Willis announced his retirement due to his toe injury and linebacker Chris Borland, coming off his rookie season, decided to retire due to concerns about head injuries in the sport.
Smith is a 14-year veteran and retirement wouldn't be seen as a surprise. Tomsula said he wont try to sway Smith one way or the other.
“I haven’t said anything to him in that sense,” Tomsula said.
A report Monday said that Smith was set to retire, but he apparently has yet to definitively choose a course and wants to do eveything he can to help the 49ers. The team will explore different options to keep Smith fresh for a late-season run, including placing him on an injury list at the beginning of camp and allowing him to begin the regular-season on the reserve list, making him ineligible to play in the first six weeks.
Coach Jim Tomsula said in Feburary that the team would give Smith the space to make his own decision about whether to play in 2015. The defensive end recorded 43 tackles and five sacks last season and will finish his 14-year career with 87 sacks.
The 49ers are set to lose two key defensive pieces this offseason, as linebacker Patrick Willis is expected to announce his retirement Tuesday.
"You know the level of respect I have for him, and he has earned the right to make the decision on his own terms," Tomsula said. "I told him that I will not try to talk him into anything or out of anything. I really do try to stay neutral on that, I really do."
Smith is a 14-year veteran who is mulling retirement. He finished the 2014 season with 43 tackles, five sacks and recovered two fumbles.
|2008||San Francisco 49ers||16||73||50.0||23||7||1||0||0.0||0||0||3|
|2009||San Francisco 49ers||16||55||40.0||15||6||0||0||0.0||0||0||1|
|2010||San Francisco 49ers||16||70||57.0||13||8.5||0||0||0.0||0||0||1|
|2011||San Francisco 49ers||16||58||45.0||13||7.5||0||0||0.0||0||0||2|
|2012||San Francisco 49ers||14||66||47.0||19||3||0||0||0.0||0||0||2|
|2013||San Francisco 49ers||16||49||32.0||17||6.5||0||0||0.0||0||0||0|
|2014||San Francisco 49ers||16||43||28.0||15||5||0||0||0.0||0||0||0|
|Year||Team||G||Fum||Lost||Fum Forced||Own Rec||Opp Rec||Yds||Tot Rec||TD|
|2008||San Francisco 49ers||16||0||0||1||0||0||0||0||0|
|2009||San Francisco 49ers||16||0||0||2||0||2||0||2||0|
|2010||San Francisco 49ers||16||0||0||1||0||0||0||0||0|
|2011||San Francisco 49ers||16||0||0||3||0||1||0||1||0|
|2012||San Francisco 49ers||14||0||0||0||0||1||0||1||0|
|2013||San Francisco 49ers||16||0||0||1||0||0||0||0||0|
|2014||San Francisco 49ers||16||0||0||2||0||1||0||1||0|
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