San Francisco 49ers: 3 potential cap casualties in 2019

Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images
Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images /
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Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images
Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images /

OLB Malcolm Smith

When the 49ers signed Malcolm Smith a couple of offseasons ago, I knew they were going to regret the decision. After the way he played for the Oakland Raiders, it seemed all too obvious his MVP performance during Super Bowl 48 was a fluke.

Well now it’s been two seasons since he came to San Francisco, and we haven’t seen much of anything from Smith. Although the injury bug has played a big part in how disappointing he’s been over the last two years, the former seventh-round pick out of USC was never going to be anything more than a middle-of-the-road talent for the 49ers.

Either way, he’s done little to prove his value to the franchise.

Smith missed his entire first campaign in San Francisco, suffering a torn pectoral a month before the season began. This past year, he actually saw the field, but started only five games and continued to battle injuries. Even when he was available, Smith was largely ineffective.

While letting him go would create significant dead cap space, it would also open up $1.2 million in 2019 and even more over the next two seasons. The important part here, though, is moving on from a subpar linebacker who isn’t going to help the 49ers improve on their 4-12 finish.