Sean Smith, cornerback for the Oakland Raiders, was arrested on Thursday and charged with felony assault. Smith, 30, is one year into a four-year, $38 million contract with the Raiders. Smith had previously been convicted of a DUI after crashing his car into a light pole in 2014.
According to TMZ, the alleged incident occurred in the early morning hours of July 4, when Smith assaulted his sister’s boyfriend in Old Town Pasadena. Prosecutors claim Smith beat his sister’s boyfriend and stomped on his head with the intent to cause “great bodily harm.” The Las Vegas Review-Journal noted that he is due for arraignment on Sept. 29 at the Los Angeles County Superior Court, Pasadena Branch, and faces “one count each of assault by means of force likely to produce great bodily injury and batter with serious bodily injury.” Smith can be sentenced to a maximum of seven years in prison if convicted. His bail is set at $80,000.
This event ends the Raiders’ three-year streak without an arrest, which was the longest active streak in the NFL. According to Daniel Rosenberg, Smith’s attorney, Smith claims he is innocent and will be pleading “not guilty” to any charges associated with this case.
Smith has notably struggled during training camp, leading to him giving up his starting position and being placed on the second team.
The news of this assault comes just days after the breaking news of Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott’s domestic violence charges and subsequent six-game suspension. It is yet unclear whether the league will be issuing Smith a suspension as well.
The NFL’s suspension against Elliott has been controversial, as it was announced that no charges against Elliott would be pursued because of “conflicting and inconsistent information.” The NFL claims Elliott violated their personal conduct policy, and maintains their right to penalize a player regardless of any legal action taken against them.
Thursday’s arrest made Smith a candidate for paid leave—a program designed by the league to remove players that face serious charges from play while their cases are being resolved in court. There has been no word on whether or not the league will utilize this option for Smith.
Smith is guaranteed a payout of $9.5 million this season per his contract. After this year, however, his contract has no guaranteed money left and he and the Raiders can part ways, should they choose to do so.
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