The Oakland Raiders pride themselves on the familial bond that is created on the team. “Once a Raider, always a Raider” is the motto repeated time and time again.
Recently, the Raiders said goodbye to part of their family when they released tight end Lee Smith. Smith had been with the team since 2015.
Smith took to his Twitter to send out a heartfelt message to his teammates, Raiders staff members, and fans:
— Lee Smith (@LeeSmith_86) May 5, 2019
Smith made it very clear that he will always remember and cherish the relationships he made within the Raiders organization. He also made special note that his family also will have fond memories of their time in Oakland.
Smith was only targeted 41 times during his time with the Raiders. That is the lowest for any pass-catcher that has been with the team since 2015.
He began his career in 2011 with the Buffalo Bills. He had a career-best year this past season with the Raiders when he had 10 receptions for 73 yards and a career-high three touchdowns. Smith will always be more known for his blocking ability though, which will greatly be missed in Oakland.
Last year the Raiders started Pro-Bowler Jared Cook at tight end. Cook had a career year, posting 896 receiving yards on 68 receptions. He has since departed for the New Orleans Saints in free agency though so the Raiders should look a lot different at the tight end position this season.