Ray Rice isn’t the only guy waiting for the league office to lower the boom. 49ers linebacker Aldon Smith also is on deck for some sort of discipline under the NFL’s personal-conduct policy and/or its substance abuse policy.
The difference in the those cases comes from the fact that Rice has had his meeting at the league office. Smith hasn’t.
Per a source with knowledge of the situation, Smith had not yet been summoned to 345 Park Avenue for a review of his latest off-field issue, which culminated in a no-contest plea to three misdemeanor weapons charges and one DUI charge.
For Smith, it’s his second DUI incident. The first one, in Miami, was reduced to reckless driving. That history could influence the NFL’s handling of the latest DUI.
The recent reduction of the weapons charges from felonies to misdemeanors could help Smith’s cause before the Commissioner, but Smith has had enough incidents and situations during his three NFL seasons that anything other than a multi-game suspension would be a surprise.
The source believes Smith’s meeting at the league office will happen next week. Either way, the hearing, the decision, and the appeal need to happen before Week One, when the 49ers travel to Dallas.