The Raiders have parted ways with veteran defensive lineman Antonio Smith, releasing him from his contract today, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (via Twitter). Smith had been entering the final year of his deal, so he’ll hit free agency a year early.
Smith, 33, spent five years with the Cardinals and then five years with the Texans before signing a two-year pact with the Raiders last March. That deal was worth $9MM, but didn’t include a signing bonus, so the Raiders should clear the veteran lineman’s entire $4MM cap hit from their books by cutting him.
A Pro Bowler in Houston, Smith played nearly 800 snaps at defensive tackle for the Raiders in 2014. His overall -3.9 Pro Football Focus grade (subscription required) wasn’t bad, though that final number comes from a combination of an excellent pass-rushing grade (+18.3) and a terrible grade against the run (-20.0). For the season, Smith posted an impressive 43 quarterback pressures, and I’d expect him to generate some interest from teams in need of an interior pass rusher.