One of the bigger offseason signings for the San Francisco 49ers was former Seattle Seahawks linebacker Malcolm Smith, who’d spent the previous two seasons with the Oakland Raiders. Unfortunately for Smith, whose interception in the 2014 NFC Championship Game ruined the 49ers as we knew them, he won’t be playing at all in 2017.
NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported on Saturday that Smith suffered a torn pectoral muscle in practice, and it’s a season-ender. San Francisco inked Smith to a five-year, $26.5 million contract, with $12 million of it guaranteed (according to OverTheCap, although Rapoport says it’s $13 million). This is the first time that Smith has dealt with a serious, long-term injury in either the college or professional ranks, so it’s obviously a bummer for him.
With the Super Bowl 48 MVP out of action until 2018, San Francisco’s 2017 first-round draft pick Reuben Foster is poised for an immediate starting role at weakside linebacker. Also in the mix is Ray-Ray Armstrong, who has been on the Niners’ roster since 2015.