While Raiders GM Reggie McKenzie said that they’re in rush to re-sign suspended OLB Aldon Smith, they have been on contact with his representatives, which is a good sign that he remains in their plans.
“The conversations have been good,” McKenzie told Scott Bair of CSN Bay Area on Monday at the owners meetings. “Really, it’s encouraging him as a person to continue to get his life right. And if you’re going to commit to this thing, you have to go through some steps. And that’s what he’s going through right now.”
Reports from during the season said that Oakland was open to bringing Smith back, even after he received a one-year suspension.
It’s smart for the Raiders to not promise him anything or aggressively try to re-sign to ensure that he’s focused on getting his off-the-field matters resolved before focusing on another opportunity in the NFL.
There’s no question that Smith is a very talented player, but it’s unlikely he’ll get much action until later in the year.
Smith, 26, is a former first-round pick of the 49ers back in 2010. He was cut loose by the 49ers shortly after a DUI incident last year, even though San Francisco picked up his fifth-year option.
Smith lataer signed a one-year deal with the Raiders that was worth up to $8 million, which was largely incentive-based, as he had a base value of just $1 million to go along with $5 million in active roster bonuses and another $2 million in sack-based incentives.
In 2015, Smith has recorded 28 total tackles, 3.5 sacks, and three pass defenses over the course of nine games. Pro Football Focus currently rates Smith as the No. 33 edge defender out of 110 qualifying players.
We have him featured in our Best Available Free Agents list.