The Seattle Seahawks have added another pass rusher as the team agreed to terms with former Dallas Cowboys starting defensive end Aldon Smith, per NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo. The news comes just a day after Smith visited the Seahawks and a decision came sooner than expected as several insiders initially predicted Seattle would wait until after the draft to make an addition.
Smith notched five sacks, 50 quarterback pressures, 14 quarterback hits and 48 tackles with the Cowboys last season after a four-year hiatus serving a suspension. At his peak, Smith had 14 and 19.5 sacks in his first two seasons with the Niners. Smith earned an 89.5 grade from Pro Football Focus last season, which tied him for 16th among pass rushers.
The Seahawks have had a busy offseason rebuilding their defensive line. Smith joins former 49ers defensive end Kerry Hyder as new Seahawks pass rushers heading into 2021. The Seahawks also re-signed Carlos Dunlap and Benson Mayowa giving the team much more depth on the defensive line. Seattle did release defensive tackle Jarron Reed after a dispute over his contract.
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The Cowboys Opted to ‘Move On’ From Smith
The Cowboys took a chance on Smith by signing him last offseason after the pass rusher served an indefinite NFL suspension for the previous four years. Sports Illustrated’s Mike Fisher reported the Cowboys opted to “move on” from Smith citing personal issues. Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy disputed this notion during a March press conference.
“The facts: The Cowboys decided long ago – really, dating back to 2020 Thanksgiving weekend – that the overall arrangement was less than ideal,” Fisher detailed. “This conclusion was not reached this week, as has erroneously been reported. Additionally, as we’ve reported, Smith is focusing on ‘issues,’ sources tell us, that go beyond football and are more important than football. (There might be people inside this building who don’t know this; surely McCarthy is not among them.)”
The Seahawks Tried to Trade for Smith Prior to Last Season’s Trade Deadline
The Seahawks have had their eyes on adding Smith for some time. The Dallas Morning News’ Michael Gehlken reported that the Seahawks attempted to trade for Smith prior to last season’s trade deadline but were turned down.
“Cowboys had chance to acquire a draft pick from interested Seahawks last October if they traded DE Aldon Smith,” Gehlken tweeted on April 14, prior to the news of Smith’s signing. “Depending on contract value and timing, Dallas can be awarded a 2022 compensatory draft pick if Smith signs there.”
Earlier this offseason, NFL Network’s Jane Slater detailed the constant tension between the Seahawks and Cowboys. Slater reported the Cowboys did not want to trade Smith to the Seahawks because of their previous history.
“The Cowboys were ready to go all-in” on Earl Thomas, Slater said on February 26, but Seattle “made it so expensive … that the Cowboys walked away from it. Then there was [the Jets’] Jamal Adams … another one they tried to go and throw the kitchen sink at. That thing got so expensive, but guess who swooped in to pick him up — Seattle. So then I was told last year Seattle was interested in defensive lineman Aldon Smith. Guess what the Cowboys did. No go. Why? Because it was Seattle.”