Aldon Smith seems to have found his groove with the silver-and-black. Through six games, the Raiders linebacker has 18 tackles and 1.5 sacks. They’re not All-Pro numbers, but Smith’s value to the Raiders defense can’t be explained in just numbers.

With a skill set similar to Denver Broncis' Von Miller, Raiders GM Reggie McKenzie would really like to keep the recently embattled Smith around long-term.

“Going in, we did a lot of research on that, at the end of the day, when we said we were going to go ahead and go after him, we just wanted to let him join the family and help him every kind of way we can,” McKenzie said, via the team’s official website. “That’s what we’re doing. It’s definitely a growth process when you don’t go to training camp. He spent some time getting his legs back but he’s definitely a good player for us now. It may not add up in the stat sheet from sacks. The numbers are going to come, the splash plays are going to come. We’re good with Aldon.”

The Raiders will have to tread lightly, with Smith’s off-the-field incidents being the major reason why he was available for the cheap.

He entered rehab and missed five games during the 2013 season, then served a nine-game suspension in 2014 for violating the personal conduct policy. He was released by the 49ers in August following his third arrest for DUI.

By Glenn Erby

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