Back problems force 49ers OT Smith to retire after nine seasons

SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- Former Pro Bowl offensive tackle Marvel Smith has retired from the San Francisco 49ers after being plagued by back problems during training camp.

Career Statistics
Experience: 9 seasons

Games: 111

Starts: 108

Pro Bowls: 1

Smith missed practice Friday, and the team announced his retirement Saturday. Coach Mike Singletary says Smith didn't make the decision lightly and that the 49ers appreciated he told them before the season started.

Smith made the Pro Bowl in 2004 and won two Super Bowl rings with the Pittsburgh Steelers in nine seasons. Smith started 108 regular-season games with the Steelers but played in just five games in 2008. He had surgery on his back in November and missed the Super Bowl XLIII victory over the Arizona Cardinals.

Smith signed a two-year contract with the 49ers during the offseason. He was losing the competition for the starting right tackle job to Adam Snyder.

Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press

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