The Raiders have released cornerback Sean Smith, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). This move was anticipated, particularly in light of Smith’s ongoing legal situation.
It gets worse for Smith. The 30-year-old is expected to plead guilty to a felony count of assault with great bodily injury and be sentenced to one year in jail and three years of probation, according to Nathan Fenno of the Los Angeles Times (on Twitter) stemming from an incident on July 4, 2017, in Pasadena Calif.
Smith would have counted for $8.25MM against Oakland’s cap, making this move something of a no-brainer even prior to the announcement that he’d plead guilty to the felony assault charges.
The veteran graded out as just the No. 73 cornerback among 121 qualifiers last year, per Pro Football Focus. He’s picked off two passes in each of the last three seasons but had a career-low four pass defenses last year while appearing in 14 games, starting eight.
Smith was a seventh-round pick of the Dolphins in 2009 and signed a four-year, $40MM deal with the Raiders prior to 2016 after spending three seasons with the Chiefs. The Raiders cut cornerback David Amerson a year after signing him to a four-year, $35MM deal. Fellow cornerback T.J. Carrie, who started 15 games for the Raiders last year and was rated by Pro Football Focus as the league’s No. 22 cornerback, is set to become an unrestricted free agent.
Carrie, who grew up in the Bay Area, has expressed interest in returning to Oakland. The team also has Gareon Conley, Dexter McDonald, Antonio Hamilton, Shaquille Richardson, Darius Hillary and Tevin Mitchel on the roster at cornerback. The Raiders also hold the No. 10 overall pick in the upcoming draft, with cornerback certainly among their top targets.
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