The Raiders have committed to getting younger across the roster, including at an overstocked position group like right end.
That’s why veteran blocking tight end Lee Smith was released on Thursday, the team announced, on the same afternoon that fourth-round tight end Foster Moreau formally signed his rookie contract.
Smith was a glue guy in the locker room, and a standout in-line blocking tight end who played with an offensive lineman’s mentality.
Moving on from the respected veteran allows more opportunities for Moreau and veterans Derek Carrier and Luke Willson.
Smith was set to count $2.6 million against the 2019 salary cap and his release carries $734,334 in dead money.
The Raiders will use a mix of blockers at the tight end spot, with a hierarchy based on competition.
Darren Waller will have a great chance to be the team’s primary receiving tight end with a solid offseason program and training camp.
Smith will be missed as a leader, but the Raiders still have plenty of depth at the position heading into the 2019 season.