March 11, 2015 3:42 PM PT
ALAMEDA, Calif. – The Oakland Raiders have signed unrestricted free agent Linebacker Malcolm Smith, the club announced Wednesday.
Smith joins the Raiders following four seasons with the Seattle Seahawks, helping Seattle to back-to-back Super Bowl appearances the last two years. In helping the Seahawks win Super Bowl XLVIII, Smith was named the game’s MVP after recording nine tackles (five solo), one fumble recovery and a 69-yard interception returned for a touchdown.
Over his four years in Seattle, the 6-foot, 226-pounder played in 57 games with 16 starts, totaling 105 tackles (68 solo), two sacks, three forced fumbles, two interceptions and seven passes defensed. He has also played in eight postseason games with eight starts, posting 27 tackles (16 solo), one fumble recovery, two interceptions and two passes defensed.
Last season, Smith played in 14 games with five starts for Seattle, posting 33 tackles (24 solo), two forced fumbles and one pass defensed.
A native of Northridge, California, Smith was originally selected by the Seahawks in the seventh round (242nd overall) of the 2011 NFL Draft out of USC. Playing three seasons under Raiders defensive coordinator Ken Norton, Jr., who was the linebackers coach at USC from 2004-09, Smith played in 47 games over four seasons, recording 174 tackles, one sack and two interceptions.
Malcolm Smith signed a 2 year / $7,000,000 contract with the Oakland Raiders, including a $2,000,000 signing bonus, $3,750,000 guaranteed, and an annual average salary of $3,500,000.
The Oakland Raiders Media Conference Call Q & A
Q: How much did having Ken Norton, Jr. here attract you to come play for the Raiders?
Smith: “It was a big part. It wasn’t the most important thing, but it was definitely a bonus and being familiar with him and his style and the things he wants to do. I feel like I can help him as well as help the team.”
Q: Was there any hesitation about going from one team that has had a lot of success over recent years to one that has not?
Smith: “It’s something that you think about, making that move. It’s something you have to consider, but I feel like this is a great opportunity for me to impart some of the things that I’ve learned on the team and hopefully encourage some guys around me, and we can get the most out of each other and turn this thing around.”
Q: Have they explained to you exactly what your role is going to be, if you will play in the middle some or focus on the outside?
Smith: “It hasn’t been really clear, but they’ve given me some ideas. The thought is to get the best guys on the field and I’m going to absolutely do my best to compete and get out there and whether that’s the middle or wherever else.”
Q: How did this whole thing come together, was it a long time coming or was it recent?
Smith: “Well, free agency just started a couple days ago, but I didn’t know what to expect going into the whole process. It kind of just happened and I’m happy the way it has turned out.”
Q: How big of a factor was coming to play for Ken Norton Jr.?
Smith: “It’s not the biggest factor but it’s definitely an awesome plus. I know his style, I know kind of the way he wants things to be done and I should know the system pretty well. I feel like it’s going to be an opportunity for me to show my skill.”
Q: How do you think you’ll be used?
Smith: “Honestly, I just want to find a way on the field. However that takes, I’m willing to do whatever and I’m going to do whatever for us to be a better team.”
Q: How would you describe your season last year and was it difficult coming from being Super Bowl MVP to playing as a reserve?
Smith: “I was a reserve in the Super Bowl, so you can only make as many plays as you get opportunities and that day I was fortunate enough to get a lot of opportunities. I’m just trying to take advantage of the opportunities. I can only dictate with my play, so, that’s what I plan on doing.”