Everything about Torrey Smith screams speed – right down to how fast he agreed to terms with the 49ers on a new contract.
Less than a hour after the official start of free agency Tuesday, the team had a deal with the former Baltimore Ravens wide receiver. ESPN reported the deal is for five years, includes $22 million guaranteed and can be worth as much as $40 million. Smith must pass a physical before the contract becomes official, but that is expected to happen Wednesday .
In recent years, the 49ers have filled the role of speed receiver with aging players – Randy Moss in 2012 and Brandon Lloyd last year. Smith, 26 and in the prime of his career, has averaged 16.9 yards per catch in four years with Baltimore and caught 11 touchdown passes last season.
He’ll reunite with Anquan Boldin, who reportedly was essential in luring Smith to the Bay Area. The two won a Super Bowl with Baltimore in the 2012-13 season.
The 49ers plan to run a play-action heavy offense, and Smith’s speed could be critical. With safeties having to account for Smith, Carlos Hyde and the team’s other tailbacks should have more room to run and Boldin should find more space in the middle of the field.
The 49ers are unlikely to bring back free-agent receiver Michael Crabtree. Stevie Johnson’s future – he’s set to be paid more than $6 million this season – also is in doubt. The 49ers and Johnson’s agents have discussed restructuring his contract but there has been no resolution.
Gore goes to Indy – The Colts announced Tuesday they had agreed to a three-year deal with running back Frank Gore. The 49ers’ all-time leading rusher had a handshake deal with the Eagles over the weekend but reconsidered and is joining a team many see as a contender to play in Super Bowl 50 in Santa Clara.
Gore has been eyeing Indianapolis for some time. Not only are the Colts a playoff favorite, the running back figures he will see fewer defenses loaded to stop the run with Andrew Luck at quarterback.
Free-agent guard Mike Iupati is expected to sign a multiyear deal with Arizona and linebacker Dan Skuta will sign with Jacksonville. Cornerback Perrish Cox is visiting Washington.
ESPN reported that free-agent quarterback Blaine Gabbert, Colin Kaepernick’s backup in 2014, will re-sign with the 49ers.
Read Matt Barrows’ blogs and archives at www.sacbee.com/sf49ers.