There was a time when Aldon Smith looked like he could be a future Hall of Famer. He had 33.5 sacks in his first two seasons. Unfortunately, what followed was a very up-and-down career. He wore out his welcome with the San Francisco 49ers after multiple suspensions.
He then made his way to the Raiders and only played nine games before getting suspended again. The team wanted to bring him back but he ended up missing four seasons between 2016 and 2019 due to suspension. Smith got another chance with the Dallas Cowboys last season and actually put together a nice season. He started 16 games and notched five sacks.
The Cowboys decided not to bring him back this year but he’s going to get a chance with a Super Bowl contender. According to NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo, Smith is signing a one-year deal with the Seattle Seahawks.
— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) April 15, 2021
Smith will be joining a solid defensive line that features Carlos Dunlap and Benson Mayowa. He probably won’t be a starter but he can be a very effective situational pass rusher.
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Darren Waller Has Offered to Help Smith
Smith appears to be in a much better headspace these days. He was battling some serious issues just a few years ago. He made it through the entire 2020 season without causing controversy. Raiders tight end Darren Waller has dealt with his fair share of issues and suspensions. Prior to last season, he offered to lend a helping hand to Smith if he needed one.
“I’m sure he’s definitely got a program in place, people in place, but if he ever needs someone, I’m definitely available for anyone that may be struggling with anything,” Waller told TMZ.
There’s been no mention of Smith reaching out to Waller but it could be good for them to strike up a friendship.
Raiders Appear Set With Their Pass Rush
It could’ve been pretty interesting for the Raiders to take another shot at Smith but the team appears set with the pass rushers they have. The team signed the best free-agent pass rusher available this year in Yannick Ngakoue. He’ll be good for at least eight sacks this season. The team has also added a number of defensive tackles, but none of them are elite pass rushers.
Las Vegas will be relying heavily on some returning players. Maxx Crosby and Clelin Ferrell need to have big years. Crosby has proven to be a dependable pass rusher and should be helped by the addition of Ngakoue. Ferrell will be feeling a bit more pressure. He’s missed six games over his first two seasons and has only notched 6.5 sacks. He’s played well in the run game but needs to create more pressure. With Ngakoue and Crosby likely handling most pass-rushing duties, Ferrell could be moving to defensive tackle quite a bit. Perhaps that’s the spot he’ll be most effective. Also, don’t count out David Irving, who is also returning. He can play on the inside and outside.
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