It should come as no surprise that he did not enjoy his time in the Bay Area under head coaches Jim Tomsula and Chip Kelly.
"Last few years were terrible professionally, you know? Football, it wasn't fun," he told CSN Mid Atlantic on Tuesday. "Wasn't very involved, so it wasn't a fun two years as a player, but had some great relationships with a lot of people out there.
"Loved the locker room, loved my teammates and I loved both coaching staffs I was involved with as well so it just was I came in at the wrong time, but I'm still thankful for the opportunity that they gave me."
It's difficult to feel bad for Smith, who clearly chose the money (five years, $40 million back in 2015). It's a decision almost all players face this time of year: Go to the bad team loaded with salary-cap space (because they're a bad team and have few core players to spend money on), or decide to sign with a contender for less. While no one can blame a player for maximizing his income, it's hard to believe Smith saw the 2015 49ers and thought this was his vehicle back to the playoffs.
Sometimes these players get lucky, like Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie going to the Giants on a big deal only to see them turn it around. Sometimes, they simply flounder and catch just 53 passes over two seasons. While none of this was Smith's fault -- he was not a player well-suited for Tomsula's offense and most certainly wasn't suited for Kelly's -- he did have to bide his time to hit the market again.
Smith is still a speedy home-run threat and will do well for himself this offseason. Once DeSean Jackson is off the board, clubs searching for another field-stretcher will most certainly have their eyes on the former second-round pick. Smith now has the opportunity to decide what kind of experience he wants this time around.