Hearkening back to the days of Al Davis, the Raiders appear poised to add a former Super Bowl MVP come the start of free agency. Monday night, Brice Butler had a fan say to him that players just aren't interested in joining the Raiders. To which Butler responded with this:
@tcommpro @RAIDERS there are one a recent super bowl mvp signing this week... But we ain't loud wit it we just make it happen!!!— Brice Butler (@Brice_Butler) March 10, 2015
To translate a bit, he's saying there are (players who want to sign withe the Raiders). One (of them is) a recent Super Bowl MVP (who is) signing this week.
Well, it isn't Tom Brady. The previous Super Bowl MVP was Malcolm Smith who is a free agent and who attended USC along with Brice Butler and who he follows on Twitter.
Shortly after the Butler tweet, SBReport put out a report saying Malcolm Smith will be signing with the Raiders, citing unnamed sources. Thus far there have been no other confirmations of the signing and others in the media have only hinted at it, but there are a lot of reasons to believe this smoke could be fire.
It's possible Smith could be following Raiders new defensive coordinator Ken Norton Jr who was his linebackers coach with the Seahawks and coached him at USC before that. Few in this league would know Smith better than Norton and vice versa.
As for Smith, he is a career outside linebacker, having lined up on both the strong side and the weakside in his career. The Raiders need a middle linebacker so it's certainly possible if they sign him, their intention would be to move him to middle linebacker. The move could make sense as run defense has been a strength of his in his career. Or it could be just adding a versatile linebacker to the stockpile along with Khalil Mack and Sio Moore.
The 2011 7th round pick had a breakout season in the Seahawks 2013 run to the Super Bowl. It was his first and only season as a fulltime starter as he stepped back into mostly a reserve role last season. He is just 25 years old.
We should know soon. Free agency opens at 1:00pm Pacific Time today.
UPDATE: Adam Schefter reports this signing is done:
Former Super Bowl MVP and Seahawks LB Malcolm Smith has reached agreement with the Oakland Raiders, per sources.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 10, 2015