The 49ers’ move comes hours before the contract deadline and just weeks after Smith's arrest at
There was talk that the team wouldn't bring him back after a string of off-field incidents dating to 2012, but now he's scheduled to make $9.75 million for the 2015 season before becoming a free agent in 2016.
Smith led the 49ers in sacks during his first two years in the league, recording 14 as a rookie and 19.5 the next year in which he was named to the Pro Bowl.
Last season, Smith missed five games after being arrested in September on suspicion of driving under the influence and possession of marijuana. He voluntarily enrolled in a rehabilitation program and later rejoined his teammates.
Smith could still face a suspension for the arrest.
Despite missing those games, Smith still got to opposing quarterbacks a team-high 8.5 times and collected another 3.5 sacks in the playoffs.
Smith was charged with three felony weapons counts in October stemming from a 2012 party at his house that got out of control. He was stabbed at the party and the resulting investigation turned up illegal guns.
He was also arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence in January 2012, though that charge was later reduced to reckless driving.