NFL suspends Aldon Smith after alcohol arrest

Raiders linebacker Aldon Smith has been suspended by the National Football League for one calendar year, the result of an arrest involving alcohol in August.

The league’s substance abuse policies prohibit Smith from appealing the suspension, according to a league source with knowledge of the situation.

Smith, who signed with the Raiders shortly after being released by the 49ers, recorded 3-1/2 sacks with the Raiders and a team-high eight quarterback hits.

Smith will miss a lot of time and money due to the suspension, though the Raiders released a statement alluding to the chances the All-Pro linebacker will remain in Silver and Black:

“Aldon has been a positive addition to the Raiders. He remains prominently in our long term plans and we will continue to support this member of our family as he gets the help that he needs.”

Smith was an integral part of the Raiders when he was playing, and Oakland is losing one of only a few true playmakers on their roster.

In a statement, Smith said:

“I am taking this time to work on myself and become the man I need to be, my team and organization needs me to be, and I know I can be. I had lost my love for the game and it led me to some poor choices, but I am thankful to the Raider organization for believing in me this season and will continue to better myself and grow from my experiences. I look forward to rejoining the team next year.”

Smith is now unable to be at the team facility, and will likely focus on the legal matters awaiting him. Under the terms of the substance abuse policy, Smith will be eligible to apply for reinstatement 60 days before the suspension is up.


Jason Leskiw is SFBay’s Oakland Raiders beat writer and member of the Professional Football Writers of America. Follow @SFBay and @LeskiwSFBay on Twitter and at SFBay.ca for full coverage of the Oakland Raiders.