Raiders Cut TE Lee Smith

The Raiders have cut veteran tight end Lee Smith, according to Ian Rapoport of (on Twitter). Rapoport posits that Smith could reunite with his old offensive coordinator Todd Downing, who is now the tight ends coach of the Titans, and Paul Kuharsky of feels that Tennessee will indeed pursue Smith (Twitter link).

Smith’s release comes as something of a surprise, as Raiders head coach Jon Gruden has shown a fondness for veterans of his ilk, and he is one of the better blocking tight ends in the league. But he offers almost nothing as a receiver, as he has averaged just 49 receiving yards per season in his eight years in the league.

Plus, Oakland just added TE Foster Moreau in the fourth round of last week’s draft, and the club already has a blocking tight end on the roster in Derek Carrier. Luke Willson, who signed with the Raiders last month, is the most prolific receiving TE on the roster.

Smith signed a three-year deal with the Raiders last March, but he made it through just the first year of that contract. Oakland creates just under $2MM in cap space with the move.

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