Monday, March 9, 2015

Justin Smith: Decision on retirement is “not 100 percent”

Word around the 49ers on Monday is that the team is preparing to lose linebacker Patrick Willis and defensive end Justin Smith to retirement, but Smith isn’t ready to drop the curtain on his 14-year playing career just yet.

Smith took a break from working out to speak to Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee about his plans for the 2015 season. Smith said that a final decision hasn’t been made, although it doesn’t sound like he’s going to take too much more time before letting the Niners know what he plans to do.

“I’m going to decide by next week probably,” Smith said. “So you’ll know by then. It’s not 100 percent.”

Mindi Bach of CSN Bay Area reports that Smith is expected to meet with 49ers General Manager Trent Baalke on Monday, as is Willis, and Mike Garafolo of FOX Sports reports that the 49ers “would explore options” to make a 2015 return less taxing on Smith physically. Smith is scheduled to make a bit more than $4 million in salary and a roster bonus if he does return for a 15th year in the trenches.

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