NFL free agency: Torrey Smith deserves Chiefs’ consideration

SANTA CLARA, CA - DECEMBER 11: Juston Burris
SANTA CLARA, CA - DECEMBER 11: Juston Burris /

Torrey Smith released his walking papers from the 49ers on Monday, and the veteran wide receiver could be a nice buy-low option for competition at WR.

The San Francisco 49ers will reportedly set another playmaker free from the rebuilding project began under new head coach Kyle Shanahan and general manager John Lynch. Torrey Smith was released on Monday after only two years with the Niners after signing an original five-year deal in free agency in 2015.

Steve Smith has the word that Torrey was being set free.

Torrey Smith’s tweets certainly back up Steve Smith’s announcement, which means teams will immediately be inquiring about Smith’s asking price and preferred destination. He originally signed a 5-year, $40 million deal with the San Francisco 49ers, and if Smith is looking for anything similar to the $8 million average he scored last time, the Chiefs are automatically out. Fortunately, the financial picture will be much different given Smith’s stats at this point.

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Smith had only 20 catches last year for 267 yards and 3 touchdowns in only 12 starts. Last season he led the NFL with a 20.1 yards per catch average, but that fell of nearly 7 full yards last year, down to 13.4. What is clear is that San Francisco’s miserable quarterback play of Blaine Gabbert and Colin Kaepernick hurt Smith’s stock significantly, and opposing defenses had so little playmakers to consider that they could pay extra attention to Smith.

For a team like the Chiefs, Smith excels as a physical receiver with excellent speed who can line up outside opposite Jeremy Maclin. Smith can get down the field quickly and best corners for the ball like few receivers in this free agent class, and the fact he could be had on the cheap, perhaps even on a prove-it deal could make John Dorsey interested.

Smith’s primary competition would be with Chris Conley, a receiver who also possesses excellent speed who has yet to show he’s as physical. Can Conley make the leap to truly stretch the defense? It’s hard to tell how much of that is having so little passes to go around in Andy Reid’s offense and how much is on Conley.

Last year, Dorsey added Rod Streater to the mix as a veteran downfield player and this would be the same sort of deal only in upgraded form. It would also cost more, but if it adds to the passing game, it could help the Chiefs truly be able to take the best player available without worrying about any further offensive skill players.