The Oakland Raiders are totally rebuilding their defensive line and pass rush with some serious talent. General manager Reggie McKenzie has now brought in defensive end Justin Tuck, pass rushing linebacker LaMarr Woodley, and now Antonio Smith. All three have played for winning franchises and provide veteran leadership.
ESPN's Adam Schefter reports the deal between Smith and the Raiders is for two years and 9 million dollars. All three contracts of Smith, Tuck, and Woodley are for two years and between 9-12 million each.
The 6'4", 290 pound Smith comes to the Raiders from the Houston Texans where he has spent the last five seasons of his nine year career. Smith brings serious experience of 117 starts and 41.5 career sacks. The 32 year old has some mileage but has only missed one game in the last five seasons. Last year, he made 15 starts for the Texans and amassed five sacks. Between Tuck, Woodley, and Smith, the Raiders have brought in 21 sacks from the 2013 season alone.
Smith is the definition of a Reggie McKenzie free agent. He brings serious production and a veteran presence. He has versatility to play defensive end in a 3-4 or a 4-3 scheme with the ability to bounce inside to tackle. He was a Pro Bowl selection in 2012 where he produced his best season of 52 tackles, seven sacks, and two forced fumbles.
After a rocky start to free agency, McKenzie has rebounded nicely. Woodley, Smith, and Tuck all came for visits and McKenzie locked them up before they were able to meet with other teams. He also grabbed secondary help earlier with the signing of cornerback Tarell Brown. He has gotten the players on short deals without mortgaging the Raiders future with long term, salary cap detrimental deals.
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