The Oakland Raiders released cornerback Sean Smith and right tackle Marshall Newhouse on Monday to create more salary cap room heading into free agency.
The Raiders also officially announced the signing of defensive tackle Justin Ellis to a three-year contract and signed receiver Griff Whalen to a one-year deal. Ellis had agreed to the deal last week to stay off the free-agent market but it was not announced until Monday.
Smith is also facing legal problems. He will plead guilty Tuesday to a felony count of assault with great bodily injury in connection with an altercation in Pasadena last year Denzel Perryman Jersey , according to the attorney for the alleged victim.
Smith was accused of assaulting his sister’s then-boyfriend, Christopher Woods, on July 4. Two witnesses testified during a preliminary hearing in December that Smith stomped Woods’ head as he lay bleeding and unconscious.
Smith will be sentenced to one year in jail and five years of probation in Los Angeles County Superior Court.
Attorney Jonathan Dennis said Woods ”felt the sentence, obviously, was not as strict as it should have been, but he’s pleased he’s admitting guilt.”
Smith was signed as a big-ticket free agent in 2016 to a four-year, $38 million deal. But he never played up to that level and the Raiders have decided to cut him instead of paying him $8.5 million this year.
Smith got benched in his first game with the Raiders after getting burned by New Orleans’ Brandin Cooks for a 98-yard touchdown. He allowed opposing quarterbacks to post a 116.5 passer rating when targeting him in 2016, according to SportRadar.
Smith struggled again early in 2017 and was replaced in the starting lineup by TJ Carrie Dion Dawkins Jersey , before finishing the season strong after John Pagano replaced fired defensive coordinator Ken Norton Jr. for the final six games.
Smith allowed just 15 catches on 27 targets for 202 yards with no touchdowns and two interceptions over the final six games for a passer rating of 64.1 as Pagano better took advantage of Smith’s size and strength. That was down from a 113.3 rating in his one-plus season under Norton.
Oakland will again seek to bolster the secondary in free agency, looking for a starter at cornerback to pair with last year’s first-round pick Gareon Conley.
Carrie is eligible to become an unrestricted free agent Wednesday and is free to talk to potential suitors this week.
Newhouse started 14 games last season for the Raiders but new coach Jon Gruden said at the combine that the play at right tackle last season was inconsistent.
Ellis was originally a fourth-round pick by Oakland in 2014. He has started 41 of the 60 games he has played in during four seasons with the Raiders and is strong against the run.
Whalen has played 43 games over six seasons in the NFL. He has 51 catches for 532 yards and three touchdowns. He also has 47 punt returns for 378 yards and 29 kickoff returns for 701 yards.
Associated Press Writer Brian Melley in Los Angeles contributed to this report
EAGAN, Minn. (AP) — The Minnesota Vikings have completed their plan to turn over their kicking duties to rookie Daniel Carlson, releasing veteran Kai Forbath with two weeks remaining in the preseason.
For all the training camp drills and exhibition game extra points the Vikings can give Carlson, there’s no way for him to experience the pressure and scrutiny that comes with the job on a championship-chasing team.
For all the calm the Southeastern Conference’s all-time scoring leader has exhibited around Vikings headquarters since they drafted him out of Auburn in the fifth round in April, there’s no way for them to know how he’ll handle the enormous responsibility until September.
“We’ll just see how it goes,” coach Mike Zimmer said on Monday after Forbath was let go. “You make your decision, and you live with it.”
Forbath took both field goal tries in Minnesota’s exhibition game on Saturday against Jacksonville and missed one when it hit the right upright. In 25 games with the Vikings Patrick Chung Jersey , including the playoffs, Forbath made 48 of 56 extra points and 50 of 57 field goals.
He stabilized the position when a struggling Blair Walsh left it in disarray midway through the 2016 season and made his share of clutch kicks, but the 30-year-old never quite found enough of a groove to gain the team’s full trust.
The Vikings were looking for more depth on their kickoffs as well as consistency on field goals and extra points, and the 6-foot-5 Carlson has the stronger leg.
“At the end of the day it’s who can make the important kicks and who the team has confidence in, so I feel really good that the coaches and the staff have entrusted me with that confidence,” Carlson said.
He was quick to credit Forbath for his class in handling a dynamic that could’ve been awkward from the day the Vikings took Carlson with the 167th overall selection. Forbath has kicked for three NFL teams, mostly with Washington.
“Kai’s given me a run for my money, and he’s had a lot of success here and elsewhere. So it was a great competition Ty Montgomery Jersey ,” Carlson said, adding: “I wish him nothing but the best, but I’m excited to be staying around here and get ready for the real work.”
The Vikings invested a sixth-round draft pick in Walsh in 2012 and watched him become an All-Pro as a rookie. He never repeated that performance, though, and four seasons later the team had no choice but to start fresh. Now they’re counting on not having to make any more changes with the role for many years.
“Every kick’s a pressure kick, and you know your job is going to be on the line and it’s probably going to be decided on a few different kicks,” Carlson said, adding: “You want to be on a winning team. … I’m just going to take that and run with it.”
The game on Saturday was particularly painful for the bottom of the roster Joe Staley Jersey , with five players injured and needing assistance off the field. Defensive end Ade Aruna (right knee) was placed on injured reserve on Monday. Offensive lineman Cedrick Lang (right leg) and fullback Johnny Stanton (left leg) were waived with an injured designation, meaning they must clear waivers before being placed on injured reserve. Tight end Josiah Price (right knee) was also waived-injured, after getting hurt in practice last week. The Vikings signed two players to fill open spots, including fullback Kobe McCrary, who played in college at Minnesota.
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