Ex-Cowboys Starter Surprisingly Cut by NFC Foe

Aldon Smith Trade Deadline

Getty The Seahawks released ex-Cowboys pass rusher Aldon Smith.

The Seattle Seahawks made their first surprising move of training camp by releasing pass rusher Aldon Smith the team announced on August 11. Smith signed with the Seahawks during the offseason but never played a snap in Seattle.

There has been little indication as to why Smith is being released, especially with about a month to go before the team is required to cut down their roster to the final 53 players. The move comes just weeks after Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll praised Smith and explained why the team opted to sign the defensive end despite his off-field history.

“It’s a good question, because I wanted to feel him and feel where he’s coming from,” Carroll explained, per The News Tribune. “We talked to him a number of times before we made a decision. We did a lot of homework, a lot of research on him and him as a person. A number of our coaches have been with Aldon in other places, which really helped us. They’ve seen him work on a day-to-day basis. That was really important. Kenny was really important in this decision.”

The News’ Tribune’s Gregg Bell reported that Smith’s release is tied to the pass rusher, “failing to sustain their trust.”

“NFL source confirms to @thenewstribune Seahawks are expected to release ex-All-Pro Aldon Smith, perhaps as soon as today, for failing to sustain their trust and the conditions for signing him this spring,” Bell tweeted. “This isn’t a football story. It’s a life story.”

Could the Move Hint at the Return of K.J. Wright?

One of Pete Carroll’s rules is to always protect the team, but the Seahawks have had a lot of drama both in the offseason and training camp. Two of the Seahawks stars, Jamal Adams and Duane Brown, are holding out of Seahawks practices in search of new contracts. Smith is part of an ongoing legal investigation in Louisiana and the outcome has yet to be determined.

Shortly after Smith’s release, K.J. Wright’s name popped up in speculation. Sports Illustrated’s Corbin Smith wonders if Smith’s release means there is a greater chance for the Seahawks to bring back Wright.

“With Aldon Smith being released, have to wonder if Darrell Taylor could be in line for more snaps at LEO end position… and though I think it’s still slim shot it happens, maybe this move opens door a bit wider for K.J. Wright to return too,” Smith tweeted.

The free-agent linebacker remains without a home but had a recent visit with the Raiders. Wright would mostly play a different role than Smith, but there is a bit of overlap when the linebacker is used in pass-rushing situations.

Smith Started All 16 Games for the Cowboys Last Season But Will Not Take a Snap With the Seahawks

The Smith signing was widely viewed as a low-risk move with a potentially high reward. Smith started all 16 games for the Cowboys last season notching 48 tackles, 14 quarterback hits and five sacks.

Smith’s short stint with the Seahawks did not go as hoped, but the team is in a much better position on the defensive line heading into the upcoming season than in previous years. The Seahawks re-signed Carlos Dunlap and Benson Mayowa with second-year pass rusher Darrell Taylor expected to make his NFL debut after missing last season with a leg injury. Seattle also added former 49ers starting defensive end Kerry Hyder to the rotation as well.

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