Report: Torrey Smith, Browns Target, Signs with 49ers
By Paul Noel
The Cleveland Browns miss out on another potential free agent wide receiver, according to multiple reports Torrey Smith formerly of the Baltimore Ravens has signed with the San Francisco 49ers. Smith has seen his production go down over the past season once the Ravens acquired Steve Smith Sr., and many questioned his technique after he suffered a bad case of the “Dropsies”. He dropped several passes because he was catching pass with his chest instead of getting his arms out an extending his hands away from his body. That is something Browns fans know all to well after watching Greg Little for several seasons.
Unlike Little though Smith has had games where he looked flat out unstoppable, to include his performance in the divisional round of the 2013 playoffs against the Denver Broncos. Smith caught the ball three times for 98 receiving yards and two touchdowns, which helped lead the Ravens to a Super Bowl appearance and eventual title. The 49ers land Smith for 5 years worth $40 million, with $22 million guaranteed, which is much more than a prove it salary that many national pundits had speculated he would get on the open market.
Torrey Smith would have been an ideal fit in my opinion for the Browns due in part to the the current roster only having Miles Austin as the lone receiver who stands above 5’10”, of course until the acquisition of WR Brian Hartline. At 6-foot, Smith could have been the guy to step-in and stretch the field for the Browns’ offense. Last season the Browns’ missed the deep ball and had to rely heavily on the slot receivers to stretch the defense. Smith’s number this past season are down but the off-season signing of Steve Smith Sr. from Carolina took away a large chunk of Torrey’s targets due to Steve Smith’s ability to also be a deep threat WR.
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The real question for the Browns, had they acquired Smith, is if they would have a QB that could have gotten him the ball. Josh McCown is not know for a big arm and Johnny Manziel is still a work in progress. Manziel may have loved to partner with a guy who he could just air it out to. Yet, unlike in college with Mike Evans, Smith doesn’t have the size to battle for the ball. Smith may have been wasted in Cleveland but would have been a big upgrade on the outside.
The Browns are still in the market for a wideout, stay tuned to Dawg Pound Daily for more Browns free agent moves.