Source: Aldon Smith’s Deal Doesn’t Prohibit The Franchise Tag in 2016

On Friday, the Raiders signed former 49ers’ outside linebacker, Aldon Smith, to a one-year contract worth up to $8 million. Because of Smith’s legal issues, the deal is largely contingent on roster bonuses ($250,000 per game) and incentives.

While the Raiders would love to pay Smith the full $8 million (that would mean 16 games, 10+ sacks), the most important detail of his deal could be what isn’t included. According to a source familiar with the deal, there is no provision in Smith’s contract prohibiting the Raiders from using the franchise tag on him after the season – an option the Cowboys weren’t given in Greg Hardy’s one-year deal.

Assuming Smith can avoid more problems off the field and return to All-Pro form, the Raiders project to have more than enough cap space to ensure he’ll return to the team in 2016.

Aldon Smith has 44 sacks in 50 career games.
Aldon Smith has 44 sacks in 50 career games.


Defensive end was the second most expensive franchise tag ($14.8M) in 2015, but considering Smith’s career could be over with another poor decision, the Raiders may consider the short term commitment (albeit expensive) a better option.