Oakland Raiders Sign Aldon Smith

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December 20, 2014; Santa Clara, CA, USA; San Francisco 49ers outside linebacker Aldon Smith (99) during the fourth quarter against the San Diego Chargers at Levi

What?

Seriously?

Yes, the Oakland Raiders signed Aldon Smith to a one-year contract after a recent face-to-face meeting on Friday. The Jacksonville Jaguars, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and St. Louis Rams were also interested in Smith. This is a surprising move to many for G.M. Reggie McKenzie to sign a player the San Francisco 49ers just released in the wake of his third DUI arrest.

But if you think about it, now is the right time to take a risk on a great player with a troubled past. He couldn’t build the foundation of his team with a bunch of guys with questionable character. He had to build a strong locker room before taking on a risk like that and he has done over the last couple of years.

McKenzie was quoted on Raiders.com saying, “We are confident that the Raiders provide an environment where Aldon can thrive through the support, structure and leadership within the building. “We are excited to have Aldon here in the Raiders family.”

I believe a suspension is coming for Smith real soon but once that’s over, the Raiders will have a dominant front-7. This really sets off the Raiders’ free agency haul this year, giving them a dominant pass-rusher to go with Khalil Mack. And from what we’ve seen of Mack in the preseason, that’s scary for opposing quarterbacks.

It wasn’t long ago when Bucky Brooks said on NFL Network, “Most dominant teams have two pass rushers. “I see Mack as a guy that could be more like an Ahmad Brooks for the 49ers when they had Aldon Smith, meaning Aldon Smith commands attention but Mack is wearing you out versus one-on-one. I don’t know if Mack’s game will translate where he’s able to win versus double teams consistently.”

When it comes to edge-rushers, the Raiders have caught up with the AFC West.

The Denver Broncos have Von Miller and Demarcus Ware.

The Kansas City Chiefs have Tamba Hali and Justin Houston.

The Chargers have only an emerging Melvin Ingram.

Mack and Smith are now among the best pair of edge-rushers in the NFL!

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