NFL Decides Against Reinstating Raiders Linebacker Aldon Smith
The NFL announced Friday that it has decided against reinstating Oakland Raiders linebacker Aldon Smith this season. They will revisit his case on March 15, 2017.
Smith was suspended for one year for violating the league’s rules on substance abuse. He applied for reinstatement, but the NFL denied the appeal. The suspension expired on November 17th, and Smith applied for reinstatement on October 3rd.
Commissioner Roger Goodell confirmed earlier in December that the league had no timeline for resolution on Smith’s case. Smith and the league have had recent discussions, though no resolution was struck.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported Friday that Smith spent 120 days in a rehabilitation facility starting in late July. A periscope video surfaced appearing to show Smith and a woman discussing a hand-rolled cigarette. If that was Smith in the video, he may have been in violation of the terms of his suspension. The NFL reportedly was interested in investigating the video.
The talented pass rusher has run into his fair share of trouble since entering the NFL back in 2011. He earned Pro Bowl and All-Pro nods and was named the NFC’s Defensive Player of the year in 2012 while he was with the San Francisco 49ers.
Smith was arrested in January of 2012 for driving under the influence while he was in Miami. Smith was hit with weapons charges following an incident in which two people were shot in June of that same year.
He was involved in a car accident in September of 2013 and police arrested him on suspicion of driving under the influence of marijuana. He subsequently entered a rehab facility and endured an extended leave of absence from the 49ers.
Smith was arrested again in 2014 following an incident at Los Angeles International Airport in which he became uncooperative with TSA agents and claimed he was carrying a bomb. The Los Angeles City Attorney eventually decided to drop the charges, but the NFL suspended him for nine games.
He was involved in an alleged hit-and-run in Santa Clara in August of 2015. He was cited for driving under the influence yet again, which proved to be the final straw for the 49ers. He was released by the team the following day and wound up signing a one-year deal with the Raiders the following month.
He was slapped with the one-game suspension in November of 2015 after playing just a few games with the Raiders. The team liked what they saw from him on the field enough to re-sign him to a deal in April of 2016.
For his career, Smith has a total of 141 tackles with 47.5 sacks across parts of five seasons with the 49ers and Raiders.
Oakland will make their first appearance in the postseason since 2002. They will have to try and advance without quarterback Derek Carr, who suffered a broken leg on Christmas Eve in a win over the Indianapolis Colts.
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