After spending nine years across the country in Pittsburgh, Marvel Smith is coming home to the West Coast.
Smith, who started 108 of 111 career games with the Steelers at offensive tackle, has agreed to a two-year deal with the San Francisco 49ers, The Sacramento Bee reports. Financial terms of the contract weren’t disclosed, but it’s incentive-laden because of Smith’s injury history, says The Bee, which got a quote from the newest 49er:
- “I am blessed with the opportunity the Niners have given me to come back home and play.”
Smith is from Oakland, which is just across the bay from San Francisco, and lives in Los Angeles. He could help the 49ers address their offensive line issues, noted the Santa Rosa Press Democrat, which reported late Thursday that the sides were close to a deal:
- He would be penciled in as the team’s starting right tackle, a spot at which he started his first three NFL seasons with the Steelers. Smith was selected to the AFC Pro Bowl team at left tackle in 2005.
- Joe Staley, a two-year vet coming off his first season at left tackle, looks pretty solid. But the 49ers need help at right tackle. The club started three different players there in 2008: Jonas Jennings, Barry Sims and Adam Snyder. Jennings has been told he does not fit into the team’s future, while the 49ers believe Sims and Snyder are better-suited as backups.
The 49ers opened a spot for Smith on Friday when they announced that they had terminated Jennings’ contract. Jennings dealt with numerous injuries over the past four seasons in San Francisco.
The 49ers also had injury concerns about Smith, who missed 15 regular-season games the last two seasons because of a back problem. However, the Press Democrat said the 49ers felt better about Smith after receiving results from a medical examination.