Last offseason, the Raiders were still among the league’s big offseason spenders. They had three big free agent signings that offseason — Kelechi Osemele, Bruce Irvin, and Sean Smith. Two of those additions paid off. The third had a rough first season.
Smith was fresh off three solid seasons with the rival Kansas City Chiefs and returned to his native California to join the Raiders on a 4-year, $38 million deal. Thus far, he hasn’t lived up to contract.
Today Over The Cap put together a list of their 30 worst signings of 2016 and Smith made the list, landing at 16.
The Raiders brought Smith in to help a leaky secondary and expected him to provide some stability for the team. Smith struggled during most of the season giving up a large number of big plays and failing to make stops in other situations. If not for a salary guarantee this year its possible he would have been cut just one season into the contract. If he plays like he did last season he won’t make it through the year as a starter.
Smith would leave behind $4.25 million in dead money if he were cut, which is something Reggie McKenzie is loathe to do. That’s not to say Smith wouldn’t have been given another season to prove himself regardless.
The Raiders had the league’s 24th ranked pass defense last season with Smith and David Amerson as the starting corners.
Something had to be done and the first move the Raiders made was the let go of defensive backs coach, Marcus Robertson. They then brought in former Chargers defensive coordinator, John Pagano as a defensive assistant.
They also made their pick at 24 overall in the draft cornerback Gareon Conley, who can play the slot or start on the outside if called upon to do so.