The San Francisco 49ers have signed defensive tackle Justin Smith to a two-year contract extension, meaning he’ll be playing in the Bay Area through the 2015 season. Smith was set to make $7.5 million in 2013 and would have been a free agent at the end of the upcoming season, one at the end of which the 49ers plan to win the Super Bowl.
The financial details of Smith’s deal are still unknown, but it will be interesting to see exactly what he receives considering he’ll turn 34 in September right after the season begins. He’s obviously a stud and has plenty of gas left in the tank, but defensive linemen of that age just don’t get huge pay days in the NFL.
Smith is part of an underrated defensive line that anchored the NFL’s third-best defense in 2012: San Francisco allowed 294.4 yards per game to opposing offenses, including 200.2 passing (fourth-best) and 94.2 rushing (fourth-best). He was injured near the end of the season and the difference in the 49ers’ defense was actually noticeable in the two games he missed. He did not record a sack in the playoffs partially because he wasn’t completely healthy, regardless of what anyone says.
Now with a new deal and a full offseason for 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick to prepare as the full-time starter, Smith is ready to lead San Francisco to the sixth Super Bowl title it came so close to winning this past February.