Tight end Lee Smith wanted to stay with the Raiders so badly that he agreed to a restructured contract.
Smith was due a $2.75 million salary for this season. According to Michael Gehlken of the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Smith now has $1 million fully guaranteed with another $1 million in a roster bonus. The other money he will have to earn — up to $1 million based on the percent of the team’s offensive snaps he plays this season. To make back the $750,000 he lost in the renegotiation, Smith must play 40 percent of the snaps. Sixty percent earns him another $250,000.
It wasn’t about the money for Smith, who becomes a free agent in the offseason.
“At the end of the day, everybody from [owner] Mark Davis to [General Manager] Reggie McKenzie to [coach] Jack Del Rio — all the way down — has been great to me the moment I walked into the door here,” Smith said, via Gehlken. “I wanted to be a Raider when I hit free agency [in 2015], and I still want to be a Raider. [Offensive coordinator] Todd Downing is a friend. [Tight ends coach] Bobby Johnson is a friend. These are people I care about, and that’s just my bosses.
“The relationships I have with my teammates — I can’t speak enough about the people in this organization, especially my teammates, how much I love every single guy in that locker room, especially Derek. He sees my big butt catch a pass like that, and he’s the first one to run down there. The relationships I have here are the number one reason I want to be here.”