Aldon Smith is troubled. He's had several DUIs and served a nine-game suspension after violating the NFL's substance abuse policy. There is no denying that Smith has off-the-field issues. There's also no denying Smith's immense talent. That talent is part of what makes the Oakland Raiders' decision to sign him a shrewd one. Here are three reasons why the Oakland Raiders made a great move signing Smith.
Smith Is Talented
Smith had a down year in 2014, recording only two sacks in seven games. He missed the first nine because of the aforementioned suspension and never got into a groove. But before 2014, Smith was unstoppable. In 43 games, Smith recorded 42 sacks. He was one of the best pass rushers in the NFL. Oh, he's also only 25 years old. Taking a flier on such a young, talented player is absolutely worth it.
Fills A Need
The Raiders already have one budding superstar in Khalil Mack. Justin Tuck is the other defensive end, but the Raiders still needed pass rushing help. Well, Smith was by far the best pass rusher on the market. Smith can play Week 1, although there is no guarantee he will. How do opposing offenses plan on stopping Mack AND Smith? That combination can, and will be, lethal this season.
There is still the chance that Smith runs into more issues off the field and fails to live up to his immense potential. In that case, the Raiders really don't lose much. Smith's deal is incentive-based, and can be worth up to $8 million. If Smith plays as well as we all know he can, the Raiders would happily pay him that money. This deal is very similar to the one the Dallas Cowboys gave Greg Hardy. If things don't work out with Smith, the Raiders can cut him, knowing they at least tried. With such little risk and a massive potential for reward, signing Smith was a great move by the Raiders.