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The Seattle Seahawks have acquired the services of free agent defensive end Aldon Smith, the Dallas Cowboys’ 2020 reclamation project who was not brought back by the team.
The Seahawks had sought to add Smith at the trade deadline last season, but the Cowboys rebuffed the effort. Now they finally get the 31-year-old, who played last season for the first time since 2015 due to multiple suspensions.
Cowboys owner Jerry Jones was high on Smith when they brought him in last year. “I like his focus. I like his attitude,” he had said at the time. “I like his attitude about the future. I’m not interested in doing anything about Aldon.”
But, ultimately, the Cowboys did decide to do something about him, as they opted to sign edge rusher Tarell Basham, 26, who had been with the New York Jets, after the 2020 season.
Smith had five sacks, five tackles for loss, and 14 quarterback hits last season. He was second on the Cowboys with 33 quarterback pressures. He played in all 16 games and his 808 defensive snaps were the most among defensive lineman and fourth on the team.
Smith agreed to terms with Seattle on Wednesday, signing a one-year deal worth up to $4 million.
Smith’s best game in 2020 came in a 38-31 loss in Seattle in Week 3, when he recorded three sacks and a pair of tackles for loss.
He did not record a sack over the final eight games as the extended time away from the game seemed to catch up to him. Although Smith did have a 78-yard fumble return for a touchdown in a 30-7 victory over the Bengals in Cincinnati in Week 13.
Smith joins safety Xavier Woods (Vikings), quarterback Andy Dalton (Bears), cornerback Chido Awuzie (Bengals), tight end Blake Bell (Chiefs), tackle Cam Erving (Panthers) and linebacker Joe Thomas (Texans) among the former Cowboys who have found new homes in free agency.
The Cowboys have added a team-record 10 unrestricted free agents this offseason. In addition to Basham, the Cowboys signed defensive tackles Carlos Watkins and Brent Urban, safeties Keanu Neal, Damontae Kazee and Jayron Kearse, tight end Jeremy Sprinkle, punter Bryan Anger, deep snapper Jake McQuaide and tackle Ty Nsekhe.
Among their own free agents, the Cowboys retained quarterback Dak Prescott, cornerback Jourdan Lewis, receiver Noah Brown and cornerback C.J. Goodwin.