Aldon Smith, has resurfaced in the media once more. Instead of a troubled headline, the former Oakland Raiders linebacker has been reportedly sober for a substantial amount of time and seeks reinstatement to play football again.
As a new league year is approaching, the former All Pro’s indefinite ban from the NFL will be reviewed by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.
Do you think Aldon Smith has a chance of being reinstated back into the NFL?
RT if you want #99 to stay in Oakland! pic.twitter.com/zh4N1d2wyl
— The Oakland Jester (@Raider_Jester) May 8, 2017
His stint with the Raiders was cut short after he received a one-year suspension on November 15th, 2015. Smith’s off-field matters sent his life into a black hole of constant legal trouble after just nine games in Oakland. The Silver and Black eventually released him in March of 2018 after yet another juridical incident. This past Thursday though, Jay Glazer provided a positive update.
“Aldon has now been sober for a while and he’s been helping a lot of our vets with their sobriety. That’s the biggest thing you’ve got to do is be of service to other people and he got that. We’ve given a lot of guys second chances. He deserves it as much as anybody I’ve been around.” – Jay Glazer
How does Glazer know about Smith’s well being you may ask? The former runner up defensive rookie of the year has been training at the Fox Sport Insider’s personal gym in West Hollywood, California. When the sportswriter was questioned about his belief in the former defensive star’s readiness for a comeback, he made the following statement.
Yeah, I really do. Look, we’ve worked with a lot of guys and tried to give them their chance. A lot of them I worry about, a couple of guys I haven’t and he’s one of them. He’s like ‘hey, it’s not my life anymore, it’s not who I am… .’ The fact that he knows to that I’ve got to help out other people, that’s what I’m most proud about. I’m proud of Aldon Smith.” – Jay Glazer
If Goodell reevaluates and reinstates him, the Las Vegas Raiders should add another asset to use against a bigger problem on the field.
Why would the Raiders want Aldon Smith back?
The Patrick Mahomes led Kansas City Chiefs will partake in the Super Bowl on Sunday, which hurts to say for me and even more-so Las Vegas head Coach Jon Gruden, who now has to deal with the grim reality of facing a MVP candidate twice a year for the remaining eight years of his contract. The Raiders need to exhaust all venues to apply pressure on the focal point of the Chiefs offense. Las Vegas had a measly 19.9% pressure percentage against all opposing quarterback dropbacks that accounted for the sixth worst total in the NFL in 2019.
Even if Smith were to only be on the field for pass rush situations, he could not make the Raiders pass rush any worse than what it was. Additionally, the team has found recent success in adding ‘troubled’ off-field players such as tight end Darren Waller, who overcame past personal addiction and had the best season of his career in 2019.
Midway through the season, the Raiders, who have displayed a history of offering second chances, signed Dion Jordan, who had an instant impact after he received a 10 game suspension for violating the NFL Drug Policy.
Dion Jordan. Instant impact in Raiders debut. pic.twitter.com/gaW0TJzM9O
— Raider Nation Boston (@RaiderNationBOS) November 17, 2019
The man with the last word on Smith’s comeback, is a cause for concern though.
The Big Question
It’s hard to say one way or another whether Smith will be reinstated with Goodell overseeing the process. During his tenure as NFL commissioner, disciplinary incidents have had inconsistent results (Ray Rice situation) and outcomes. When the NFL Player’s Association attempts to remove the commissioner’s disciplinary powers, it’s a testament to Goodell’s lack of competence as a whole.
Even if Aldon’s football comeback is denied, it is more than welcomed to read that he is in a better place than where he was in recent years. If his reinstatement is processed and accepted for the 2020 regular season, the Raiders should perform their due diligence on adding an additional pass rusher.
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