2 Former Raiders Pass Rushers Find Homes With Contenders

aldon smith

Getty OAKLAND, CA - SEPTEMBER 20: Aldon Smith #99 of the Oakland Raiders stands on the field before their game against the Baltimore Ravens at O.co Coliseum on September 20, 2015 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

When Aldon Smith joined the Raiders in 2015, there was a lot of excitement for him getting a fresh start. The team was on an upward trajectory and has strong leadership at the top. Unfortunately, Smith had to serve his punishment for an incident that happened before he joined the team. He was suspended for a year after playing nine games in Oakland. He tried to get reinstated before the following season but wasn’t able to get back the field. He eventually got into trouble again and the Raiders cut ties with him.

It’s now been almost five years since he played football, but he’s about to get another chance with the Dallas Cowboys.

The Cowboys have a knack for bringing in troubled players and trying to rehabilitate them. Smith is now 30 years old and wasn’t as productive in the last two seasons he played in. It’s certainly interesting to see Smith back on an NFL roster, but he’s got a lot of work to do if he’s going to make any kind of impact.

Benson Mayowa Signs With Seahawks

Another former Raiders pass rusher is heading to the NFC as Benson Mayowa has signed a deal with the Seattle Seahawks.

Mayowa was first signed by the Seahawks as an undrafted free agent in 2013. He only played two games for them before he went to the Raiders. 2019 was his most impressive year yet as he notched seven sacks. Despite his strong pass rush ability, the team didn’t trust him at all in the run game as he only played a limited number of snaps. That said, he can be a great situational pass rusher.

It seems strange that the Raiders didn’t try to retain him. He was second on the team in sacks and led the team for most of the season until Maxx Crosby blew up. For whatever reason, they never seemed to have a lot of faith in him.

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Can Aldon Smith Still Be Productive?

Aldom Smith appears to have turned his life around and hasn’t gotten into trouble in a while. He still hasn’t been reinstated from his suspension when he was with the Raiders. The first order of business will be to get that sorted out. Jerry Jones may just be the most powerful owner in the NFL so that works in Smith’s favor.

However, if he can get back to playing football, it’s not a given he even makes the final roster. Five years is a long time to be out of football. If Smith would’ve stayed out of trouble, he probably would be in the middle of a Hall of Fame career. It’s highly unlikely he’ll reach the level that made him an All-Pro, but he could still make a positive impact. The best-case scenario is that he can play at the same level he did when he was with the Raiders. In 9 games, he had 3.5 sacks.

Smith just getting back on an NFL roster is an achievement and even if he doesn’t put up strong numbers, it’s exciting that he’s turned his life around.

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