After a rather rough first year with the Oakland Raiders for Sean Smith, many are already calling for the team to part ways with their high priced free agent signing. Smith was supposed to be one of the most important additions to the team last offseason, but instead he was benched in week one and never fully got back on track.
Sure, Smith played better after the first two weeks of the season but he never played like a top billed free agent and certainly didn’t play like his $11 million cap number last season. And with a $9.5 million cap number this season, you can understand why many are looking at the idea of moving on from the high priced free agent sooner rather than later.
But unfortunately, I’m here to tell you not to get your hopes up.
Normally, Reggie McKenzie writes his free agent contracts in a way that allows the Raiders to get out from under the deal after the first season if it doesn’t work out. But since Sean Smith was so highly sought after last offseason, he had to sweeten the pot a little in order to get him to sign with the Silver and Black.
Cutting Sean Smith not would save the Raiders $5.25 million but it would also cost them $4.25 million in dead money. As always, when cutting a player, you also have to take into account how much it will cost to replace him. Getting a number one starter in free agency will cost you a pretty penny, as Sean Smith proved last offseason. So while they can save over 5 million, the cost would likely be more than the savings since any new corner would cost more than the $1 million difference between Smith’s dead money and his cap savings. And cutting Smith after June first will not change the numbers.
So while it’s understandable that so many are already looking to move on from Sean Smith, I would not expect the Raiders to do so until next season at the earliest. Unless maybe they can get someone to take his salary in a trade?