On Friday, the NFL announced the nine-game suspension that has been imposed on 49ers linebacker Aldon Smith, for multiple violations of the personal-conduct policy and substance-abuse policy. On Saturday, the NFLPA issued a statement on Smith’s behalf.
“I apologize to my teammates, coaches, the entire 49ers organization and 49ers fans for not being able to contribute on the field for the next several weeks,” Smith said. “Over the last year, I have learned a lot and I’m working hard to grow from my experiences. I want to thank my family and friends, my teammates, my union and the 49ers for supporting me during this process. I will be at work daily to participate in all permitted work activities, and to support my teammates, just as they have supported me.”
Smith largely has stayed out of trouble since his September 2013 DUI incident, but for that whole fake bomb threat thing at LAX. He’ll need to stay out of trouble going forward, or he’ll get suspended again — possibly even longer than nine games.
Speaking of nine games, we (or at least I) continue to believe that, with good behavior and given that Smith apparently waived his appeal rights under both policies, he possibly will be reinstated in fewer than nine games, if he can stay out of trouble and otherwise do what is expected of him.
It’ll be much easier for Smith to do that, given that he’s permitted to be around the team. The outcome remains confusing, since if he’d been suspended only under the personal-conduct policy, he would have been frozen out. Again, the apparent waiver of his appeal rights may have had something to do with that decision.