TE Derek Carrier returns to Raiders on 3-year deal

Sean Smith

Sean Smith will be released by Oakland Raiders

Derek Carr might be throwing to someone with the same nine letters in his name, as the Raiders will sign tight end Derek Carrier, a source told the Bay Area News Group.

Tight end Lee Smith will become an unrestricted free agent on Wednesday afternoon, and we'll see how the Raiders feel about his future in Oakland.

In other words, Carrier just joined a team coached by Jon Gruden after playing at his previous two stops for Jay Gruden, Jon's brother, and Sean McVay, a one-time assistant of Jon. Last season, Carrier played for the Los Angeles Rams, where he was traded by Washington. The 30-year-old played well for the Raiders down the stretch last season, after a year and a half of disappointing production.

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However, with former Saints and Seahawks TE Jimmy Graham signing with the Packers Tuesday, the Raiders will need to look elsewhere for a pass-receiving tight end during the 2018 offseason. Getting released from the Raiders didn't really change that much about his career: He has been banned from playing since the suspension.

Carrier has 36 career receptions for 327 yards and a touchdown since entering the league in 2012 as an undrafted free agent from Beloit, a Div. III college in Wisconsin.

Smith struggled again early in 2017 and was replaced in the starting lineup by TJ Carrie, before finishing the season strong after John Pagano replaced fired defensive coordinator Ken Norton Jr. for the final six games.

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