Sean Smith’s Fate With Raiders Likely To Be Based On Performance

After his reported arrest, the Raiders may decide to part ways with Sean Smith, but the decision will mostly likely come down to the play of their $38 million cornerback – and not a knee-jerk reaction to his latest legal matter.

From a salary cap standpoint, Smith’s 2017 salary is already guaranteed toward the cap. However, the team can part ways with Smith after the season with no financial consequences – meaning no dead money.

For that reason, Smith (and his $8.5 million cap number in 2018) was always a long shot to remain with the Raiders beyond this season.

Assuming Smith’s legal battles will extend beyond the 2017 season (they easily should), there’s no reason for the Raiders to hit the panic button. If general manager Reggie McKenzie is okay with the ‘distraction’ of Smith’s lingering legal affairs, the resolution to those legal matters (and any punishment from the NFL) should come long after the Raiders’ opportunity to release him following the season.

In other words, if Smith is playing well enough (and that’s no guarantee at this point) to make the Raiders’ final roster in two weeks, he’ll likely be with the team for the season opener in Tennessee.

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