I get it. Antonio Smith was on the wrong side of thirty for a team that wanted to get younger. Still, a team with so many roster wholes can not afford to let a player with Smith’s leadership and production go. Even if he was a liability against the run, the ninja assassin would have brought value in pass rushing situations.
The Raiders let Smith’s three sacks and force fumble walk for nothing. Instead they opted to re-up with CJ Wilson last week. This might signal the Raiders are in play for a three technique such as Leonard Williams. They might also grab one at the top of the second round in Michael Bennett or Carl Davis. Regardless, the Raiders need as much talent and leadership as possible and letting Smith go just adds another roster whole.
So why did they do it then? I think it is clear Smith didn’t fit the new team’s scheme. Even more than that, maybe Smith was team Sparano. Smith was one of the biggest advocates for the interim coach last season and maybe he didn’t buy into the JDR regime. I thought Reggie McKenzie would have at least stuck to one of his key acquisitions from last season for at least another year. The team had nothing to lose playing Smith in a limited role
Whatever the Reason, cutting Smith just made the Raiders roster even more talent deprived. Further, Smith gave Raider nation a year of great media quotes and we thank him for that.