The Raiders announced Tuesday that veteran defensive lineman Antonio Smith has been released. Smith spent 2009-13 in Houston and the Texans are in discussions about a reunion, reported NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport.
Rapoport was told that general manager Reggie McKenzie and coach Jack Del Rio have been debating Smith's future for weeks, but the lineman's less-than-stellar play last season made this an easy decision on paper. The Raiders save $3.2 million with the move.
It's another reminder of McKenzie's gaffe-prone movements during a 2014 offseason that saw him overpay for a rash of over-the-hill veterans including Matt Schaub, Maurice Jones-Drew and LaMarr Woodley. All three are gone, but the Raiders continue to settle for ineffectual on-field talent with the signings of safety Nate Allen and running back Trent Richardson.
McKenzie was helped by a strong draft last May -- landing pass rusher Khalil Mack and quarterback Derek Carr -- but Oakland's on-field progress will stay sluggish until this front office allocates money more effectively.
As for Smith, he was a disaster against the run last season but showed well for stretches as a pass rusher. His career is near the end, but we wouldn't be surprised to see the 33-year-old latch on with a team that views him as a better fit than Del Rio did.
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