On Thursday it was reported that Raiders cornerback Sean Smith has been charged with felony assault stemming from an incident at a July 4th family function. Rumors abound, including claims that the assault was in defense of Smith’s sister after her boyfriend got violent or threatening in some way. Nothing official has been released and Smith’s lawyer stated only that they were confident he would be exonerated. This on top of a 2015 DUI conviction makes two major legal problems that the Raiders have to deal with for a player who isn’t proving his worth.
The Raiders hired Smith for the 2016 season, signing him to a whopping $40 million contract. A year of guaranteed money has been paid out with another $9.25 million guaranteed in 2017. After a miserable 2016 showing, fans have been calling for his head. This incident is not helping his case. If the Raiders decide to cut him now, they’d be on the hook for that money, so is it worth it to take the cap hit or should they take the risk that Smith will be cleared of the charges?
|One can only speculate as to the exact reason behind the altercation, but knowing that your job is on the line, would you take that opportunity to lose it all in one fell swoop? There is something to be said for defending your family, and perhaps that was the case.|
You might say that he was justified in doing so, and he may very well have been if he was truly defending his sister from getting beaten. If that’s the case, the Raiders and the county prosecutors may see this as a clear case of defense and let Smith off the hook. There’s a certain amount of justifiable force that could have been used and it seems that Smith went over that line. FAR over that line, as he’s been charged with one felony count each of assault by means of force likely to produce great bodily injury and battery with serious injury.
The problem is that we don’t know at this point and until we do, the only thing that can be seen is the damage Smith did, both to the victim and most likely to his career. When you know that you’re already under a microscope both publicly and professionally, some sort of restraint has to be kept. It’s hard to think that he could restrain himself if the situation is as reported and he was protecting family. However, there are other options. Until we find out the exact nature of the situation and the events that occurred, I have to ask: What the hell was he thinking? He probably wasn’t, which is to be expected in that sort of situation. Hopefully, it doesn’t come back to bite him, but it unfortunately might do just that.
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