Smith, 28, had established himself as a serviceable pass rusher for the Buccaneers (13.5 sacks from 2014-15) before a torn ACL ended his 2016 campaign after only one game. After working his way back to full health, Smith had played in only one 2017 contest with Tampa Bay before being cut. He latched with the Lions for two games, but spent the last two months of the campaign out of football.
Earlier this summer, Smith drew a bit of interest, working out for the Colts before landing a one-year deal withe Cardinals in July. He played in three games for Arizona but didn’t make much of an impact, as he saw only 29 snaps on defense to go along with 23 on special teams. After being released in late September, Smith worked out for Oakland last week before landing a deal Tuesday.
Smith (and Ealy) should both be given a chance to contribute in the Bay Area, as the Raiders have fielded the NFL’s worst pass-rushing unit through a half-season. After trading Khalil Mack prior to the regular season, and waiving defensive end Bruce Irvin last week, Oakland ranks dead last in the league in both sacks (seven) and adjusted sack rate. The Raiders’ defensive end rotation is now led by Frostee Rucker, Fadol Brown, and rookie Arden Key.
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