The Raiders were prepared to spend big money on a free agent cornerback. They expressed strong interest in both Janoris Jenkins and Sean Smith, the top cover men on the market.
Jenkins agreed to terms with the New York Giants early Wednesday morning. Smith, however, is coming to the East Bay.
The former Kansas City Chiefs cornerback agreed to terms on a contract with the Raiders, Smith’s agent announced early Thursday morning. Smith agreed to a four-year, $40 million contract with $20 million in guaranteed money, according to a league source. He's scheduled to arrive in Oakland later Thursday to sign his contract.
It took some time for Smith to make a decision, and there were some nervous moments in Oakland as Wednesday afternoon turned to night and the 28-year old decided whether to stay in Kansas City or join the Raiders’ cause.
He ultimately chose the Silver and Black. Smith agreed to the deal as night turned to morning, taking an offer significantly better than what the Chiefs could pony up.
Smith’s agent David Canter, announced in grand fashion on social media.
This is a big get for the Raiders, who hoped to shore up their pass defense this offseason. As can be said about Bruce Irvin and Kelechi Osemele, Smith fits the Raiders system well.
He’s tall and lanky at 6-foot-3, 218 pounds, adept at playing physical man coverage without getting penalized. He had 45 tackles, two interceptions and 12 passes defensed last season, and he allowed just 52 percent of targets to be completed.
The Raiders went after Smith in 2013, but he ended up in Kansas City. They competed against the Chiefs and the 49ers this go-round, according to an NFL source, but ended up getting their man.
Smith addresses an important need, and constitutes the third upper-tier free agent acquired by the Raiders early in free agency.
There are likely more secondary additions to come but, as it stands, the Raiders could line Smith and David Amerson – another tall corner with solid ball skills – up on the outside for a solid starting tandem.