Report: Former 2nd Overall NFL Draft Pick Jason Smith Could Be Cut

Shane GraySenior Analyst IJanuary 18, 2012

Jason Smith
Jason SmithNFL Photos/Getty Images

According to NBC Sports, citing league sources, the second overall selection in the 2009 NFL Draft, Jason Smith, will face the option of taking a pay reduction or simply being cut from the roster.

Smith is due a base salary of $10 million in 2012 and $13.3 million in total, however, only $1 million of his $10 million base salary is guaranteed.  Thus, the Rams would only be on the hook, this year, for 3.3 million in signing bonus money and the previously mentioned one million in base salary if they release Smith.  

With that, St. Louis has little reason, financially, to retain him, unless he takes a significant pay cut.

Considering his multiple severe head injuries, a retirement, however unlikely, is not out of the realm of possibility.

Smith, a right tackle, has been a disappointment in St. Louis after arriving from Baylor University.  Thus far, he looks to be on a path to accumulate more season-ending head injuries (two so far) than Pro Bowl berths. 

In part of three seasons, Smith has started just 29 out of a possible 48 games due both to poor play and injuries. 

Smith does well in the run game but struggles with consistency in pass protection. 

Smith, who was drafted as a left tackle, has primarily lined up at right tackle.  2010 second-round pick Rodger Saffold has held down the left tackle position the last two seasons. 

If cut, options at right tackle via the 2012 NFL Draft could include Mike Adams of Ohio State, Andrew Datko of Florida State, Levy Adcock of Oklahoma State and Kelechi Osemele of Iowa State.

If St. Louis were to consider moving Rodger Saffold to right tackle in the event of Smith being released, left tackle options might include Matt Kalil of USC, Riley Reiff of Iowa, Mike Adams of Ohio State and Jonathon Martin of Stanford. 

In a rather weak group of likely free-agent options at either spot, Demetrius Bell of Buffalo stands out as a high-quality option. 

Shane Gray covers the St. Louis Rams year round. To check out the rest of his work, go here.  You are also encouraged to follow him on Twitter.