Not long after losing his starting cornerback role for the Oakland Raiders, cornerback Sean Smith’s freedom was momentarily taken away as well. Smith was arrested on Thursday for felonious assault charges. This is in response to an incident that occurred in July, in which he allegedly battered his sister’s boyfriend. He is being charged with assault by means of force likely to produce great bodily injury and battery with serious bodily injury.
This is not Smith’s first run-in with the law during his stint in the NFL. In 2015, he pleaded guilty to driving under the influence and missed three games for the Kansas City Chiefs.
Despite Sean Smith losing his starting role, this news is still a brutal blow to the Raiders defense. Smith posted bail, but with the Raiders declining to comment on the situation, it is unlikely Smith will be returning to the team anytime soon. Even if they allow him to return, a suspension handed out by the NFL is probably. The suspension could come at the beginning of the season or some time afterward.
While he had his issues in coverage at times last year, Smith had a decent year. Statistically, he finished the year with 40 total tackles and 11 passes defended. He also graded out as an above average cornerback by Pro Football Focus and was ranked 16 out of 110 graded cornerbacks.
How does this affect the Raiders?
With this potential loss, the Raiders’ cornerback depth chart is a little shaky. They invested a first round pick on Ohio State cornerback Gareon Conley, but Conley is currently nursing a shin injury and has yet to play in training camp. Starters David Amerson and T.J. Carrie form a decent duo, but not one of the more formidable units in the league.
Luckily, though, an underwhelming cornerback corps may not be the worst thing for the men in black and silver. The Raiders are in a division that lacks a prolific passer, outside of Philip Rivers. Furthermore, the pass rush, led by stud defensive lineman Khalil Mack, will help to alleviate pressure on the secondary.
As for Sean Smith, he will have an arraignment on September 29 and faces up to seven years of prison time.