The Raiders are releasing veteran cornerback Sean Smith, a source told the Bay Area News Group.
Shortly after first reports of his release Monday morning, the Los Angeles Times reported Smith will plead guilty this week to a felony count of assault with great bodily injury relating to an altercation last year in Pasadena. According to the L.A. Times, Smith will be sentenced to one year in jail and three years probation as part of his plea agreement.
Smith faced up to seven years in jail if convicted of all the charges against him.
Smith was set to make $8.25 million in base salary in 2018, and his release comes with no dead money against Oakland’s cap. Add on Smith’s 2018 workout bonus of $250,000, and the Raiders add $8.5 million to their $15.8 million in cap space.
Smith’s release was highly anticipated simply from a football perspective given his production last season not matching what the Raiders were set to pay him. Smith contributed to a lackluster Oakland secondary, and though he intercepted Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott twice in one game, was largely inconsistent on the year.
Still, given the Raiders’ subpar cornerbacks group, Smith was probably the best one among them the second half of the season.
His legal issues, on the other hand, are a whole other animal.
Smith’s release leaves even more uncertainty in the Raiders’ cornerback corps with only Gareon Conley, Antonio Hamilton and Dexter McDonald the safe bets to be back among the group. Starter T.J. Carrie is set to hit unrestricted free agency on Wednesday at 1 p.m. PST, and time will tell if the Raiders think he’s worth bringing back.
Smith played in 14 games last season, starting eight, with two interceptions, four passes defended and 32 total tackles. Smith’s release was first reported by Bill Williamson of Raiders Snake Pit.