The Best Seat In The House For All Your News On The 5 Time World Champion Niners

The Best Seat In The House For All Your News On The 5 Time World Champion Niners
A review and commentary on the history & lastest events surrounding the 17 time NFC Western Division & 5 -Time World Champion San Francisco 49ers. From 1946 and the All America Football Conference to 2009 and the road to a 6th Super Bowl title - For true fans of the scarlet and gold! Enjoy!

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Smiley's Swan Song This Season

Starting the last year of his rookie contract, San Francisco 49ers right guard Justin Smiley,(left), a second-round pick in the 2004 draft, will likely be playing his final campaign by the Bay. The 6-foot-3, 301-pound lineman from the University of Alabama is set to earn $510,000 this year. That's quite a bargain for a durable and dependible player who has started all 16 regular-season games each of the past two years. Smiley, however, is expected to command a huge signing bonus as a free agent. You can't really blame him for wanting to get paid considering the massive contracts awarded this offseason to guards Derrick Dockery (Buffalo Bills ), Eric Steinbach (Cleveland) and Kris Dielman (San Diego), none of whom have made a Pro Bowl. Dockery is guaranteed $18 million, and Steinbach and Dielman are guaranteed $17 million.

Smiley is recovering from offseason shoulder surgery and is not expected to practice until training camp in late July. The injury could not have come at a worse time for Smiley, as his attempt to secure a long-term deal from the team has been hampered. The stellar play of guard David Baas in organized team activities, has made Smiley less crucial to the Niners' plans. The former Michigan Wolverine has yet to establish himself as a starter on the line, but he seems to finally be showing the promise that made him the 1st pick in the 2nd round of the 2005 draft. Baas is under contract through 2009 and is scheduled to earn $435,000 this year.

Joining Baas as a potential replacement for Smiley is fellow 2005 draftee Adam Snyder, a third-round pick out of the University of Oregon. In college, Snyder played every line position except center. His versatility was a major factor in the 49ers' decision to sign him to a four-year extension worth $10.4 million. During OTAs, Snyder lined up at guard. The fact that Baas and Snyder are both locked up and full of potential provides the 49ers flexibility with the Smiley situation. San Francisco does not have to give in and pay a guard a ridiculous amount of money like the Bills, Browns and Chargers did. Instead, the Niners can focus on adding a playmaker at wideout or an heir apparent to future Hall of Fame defensive lineman Bryant Young in free agency next year.

Smiley provided the 49ers solid service for three seasons and will probably do the same this year. Next March, however, Niners fans should expect him to cash in elsewhere, but re-enforcements appear to have arrived.

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