Aldon Smith’s case rockets through the NFL legal system

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For Browns receiver Josh Gordon, the wheels of NFL justice moved sssslowly.  He became aware of the one-year suspension in early May, at the latest.  His appeal hearing ended on August 4.  He learned his fate on August 27.

For 49ers linebacker Aldon Smith, things moved much more quickly.  He was sentenced on multiple weapons charges and DUI on July 18.  He met with the Commissioner in early August.  Now, barely three weeks later, the process has been fully and finally resolved, with Smith suspended under both the personal-conduct policy and the substance-abuse policy.

While some have reported that Aldon Smith exhausted his appeal rights, the more likely explanation is that he waived them as part of the punishment under both policies.  For Smith, no mention was made of appeal rights in the NFL’s announcement; for Ravens running back Ray Rice, the suspension was imposed under the personal-conduct policy, and the announcement expressly declared that he has the right to appeal it.

Also, for any discipline under the substance-abuse policy, the player is entitled to an appeal hearing like the one Gordon had, followed by a potentially protracted wait for a ruling.  In the interim, the player is entitled to play.

Given the speed with which this one moved, and given the potentially complicated interplay between the two policies, it’s reasonable to deduce that Smith waived his appeal rights — possibly in exchange for the league’s decision to allow him to continue to come to the facility while suspended, a courtesy that is available to players suspended for less than a year under the substance-abuse policy but not to players suspended under the personal-conduct policy.

Who knows?  The consideration extended to Smith in exchange for apparently waiving his appeal rights could extend to a potential reduction of the suspension, if he manages to stay out of trouble.  Based on his history, that could be a fairly large if.

43 responses to “Aldon Smith’s case rockets through the NFL legal system

  1. Really, it’s like people think these guys are angels. The NFLPA brokered the agreement that governs these issues. If the players are pissed, look at yourself and take responsibility. Also the players actions speak loudly here.

    Knuckleheads!

  2. Forty Whiner here…. I’m cool with it, he’s a few sandwiches short of a picnic.

    He does his time, gets a few games under his belt and then it’s bring on the Hawks….

  3. I am all for the suspension but troubled by the number of games. It seems that the NFL usually works in multiples of 2. 2 game suspension, four game, six game, etc. This makes sense in the sense that if gives an artificial sense of continuity, which is to say that it doesn’t make sense but the regularity makes it appear as if the NFL has a reasonably weighted system of justice.

    Recently, however, we have seen 3, 5, and now 9 games as a suspension. Suspiciously all odd numbers thrown at random into an even system without a explainable principle, which makes it seem that someone at the top is just throwing out numbers and then making up the reasons later.

    Troubling, I tell you troubling.

  4. Niner haters are having fun right now. Let’s see how loud they ‘re laughing when the Niners are sitting at about 7-2 and on the verge of getting Aldon, Bowman and Dorsey back in the lineup all fresh and rested for a stretch run.

  5. It’s ridiculous that the laws of the land don’t punish these guys for the crimes they commit. Rehab, counseling, fines…no one raises a stink about that, but everyone is in a uproar that the league punishes too much or too little. Get mad at the judges and prosecutors for the lack of justice, not a sports league for how they “punish” someone. A two game, nine game or yearlong layoff isn’t a lesson for millionaires…not even for a regular Joe. If we’re depending on pro leagues to give us legal satisfaction, there’s an issue we need to address. These guys do things that would land the rest of us in jail or nothing more than a fine, but we rail against the penalty incurred from a job. If anything the legal punishments need to be reviewed and not the NFL’s CBA.

  6. Reports were released that Niners were bracing for 6-8 and Goodell comes in with 9?! Coincidence? Arbitrary number? Think not! This is the new age Goodell and NFL, it’s about that shock and awe, that hammer of justice! No more calling Mr. Goodell soft! No Way!

    I’d like to thank Ray Rice and Keith Olbermann for this sham, if Ray didn’t beat his wife and only get 2 games for it, Aldon would be back in time for the Saints. What a debacle.

  7. True. Because not enough people are in jail for non-violent offenses. SMH

    —-

    It’s ridiculous that the laws of the land don’t punish these guys for the crimes they commit. Rehab, counseling, fines…no one raises a stink about that, but everyone is in a uproar that the league punishes too much or too little. Get mad at the judges and prosecutors for the lack of justice, not a sports league for how they “punish” someone. A two game, nine game or yearlong layoff isn’t a lesson for millionaires…not even for a regular Joe. If we’re depending on pro leagues to give us legal satisfaction, there’s an issue we need to address. These guys do things that would land the rest of us in jail or nothing more than a fine, but we rail against the penalty incurred from a job. If anything the legal punishments need to be reviewed and not the NFL’s CBA.

  8. I’m a Seahawk fan and the last thing I’m worried about this season is the Niners. By the time we play them, they’ll have faced a gauntlet of some of the toughest teams in the NFL, while the Seahawks have a relatively easy schedule to start the season. By the time we play, the Seahawks will be up by 2-3 games and it won’t even matter.

    NFCW belongs to the World Champion Seahawks.

  9. I’ll give you a pass on this comment since you’re new to football (Seahawks fan):

    ———————-
    I’m a Seahawk fan and the last thing I’m worried about this season is the Niners. By the time we play them, they’ll have faced a gauntlet of some of the toughest teams in the NFL, while the Seahawks have a relatively easy schedule to start the season. By the time we play, the Seahawks will be up by 2-3 games and it won’t even matter.

  10. He deserved a lengthy penalty no matter what happened to Ray Rice. The reality is they are gonna miss 2 of the 15 players in all of football for a good chunk of the season and thats tough to overcome. A lot more is gonna fall on Kap and co this year.

  11. Gonna miss Aldon, but we all knew this was coming. Wilhoite filled in great last year for the first 5 games while Aldon was out. Our defense didn’t miss a beat. But losing him with Bowman and Dorsey out makes it hurt a lil more. We have 5 new starters on D starting out this year. It’s gonna be interesting.

  12. It is kind of funny reading fan posts in terms of justice served and how a player must be punished. The reality : just a fan trying to achieve the maximum advantage for their team. West coast bias is alive and well. Aldon receives 4.5 times the punishment as a (on tape) knock out, beat down ,and drag around of Rice’s girl friend. Insane move by the league and clown Goodell.

  13. Fine he screwed up, but a week ago I thought it was supposed to be 6-8 games. Now 9? Don’t look at the Commissioner cross eyed, you might get a fine.

  14. I don’t understand why they would wanna keep guys like Smith or Gordon away from their teams. Yeah that’s what you wanna do to guys with drug\alcohol issues, keep them away from a support system.
    What’s Gorden gonna do for the year he can’t be part of the browns?
    Sit in a basement depressed getting high? It’s completely stupid and these guys need better union leaders for there next agreements.

  15. gee,,, 9 games for just a little DUI,,,,

    HEY, this problem child was found totally blitzed at 6:45 of a school day morning, his car stopped by a tree but his foot still pressing down on the gas pedal. We’re all lucky he did not mow down a bunch of kids on their way to school.

    Rodger is more than giving Smith a message, he’s telling the Niner’s and the rest of the league’s team’s management that they can’t have their NFL players risking the health of the general public; especially while the season is in play and these boys are supposed to be readying for their next weekly game.

    The biggest crap about this is that Josh Gordon is out for 16 games…. who would you rather have living in your neighborhood?

  16. billb49 says:
    Niner haters are having fun right now. Let’s see how loud they ‘re laughing when the Niners are sitting at about 7-2 and on the verge of getting Aldon, Bowman and Dorsey back in the lineup all fresh and rested for a stretch run.
    ——————————————————–
    You have a better chance of being 2-7 at that point.

    Re-Pete
    3-Pete

    Seahawks bandwagoner since 1976

  17. Last season they played their easiest stretch during his absence. Not expecting same results with tough schedule plus the best linebacker in the game, Bowman, is out. Add to that SF is dating that looney and Kilgore are nfl starters ( trust me, they won’t get to strangle defenders out of ref sympathy the way GB’s sorry lineman did.)

  18. The 49ers have more talent on their 2nd string than other teams have starting. You guys forget who you’re dealing with. The San Francisco 49ers! Come game day we dominate! Counting them out because Bowman won’t play until Week 7 and Smith Week 10 shows your lack of knowledge. The 49ers are not some talent lacking team. All of you counting them out will be learning some new names. Bet the house on it!

  19. Lots of name calling coming from the Seahawks fan base. Please keep it up because once you underestimate a team that’s been going through lots of adversity they will prove they can win with the next man up. They’ve been doing this for 3 years straight and they’ve been winning. So a team with a great work ethic and high standards is suppose to falter because you guys say they are. They got a lot to prove and they’re hungrier than ever.

  20. It’s so funny how Seahawk fans always show up on a 49er blog. If you guys aren’t worried about the 9ers stop showing up. YES you are the World Champs but really folks…….you’re beating your chest after your FIRST world championship?……come on man! REALLY! How long have you been around again? If it helps any…..the Raiders have more championships than you guys. What people fail to realize is the 9ers played without Aldon for 5 games last yr and they were 5-0 because of depth. Do you guys really think no Aldon means we are done. On another note we also played without one of our ILB for a few games as well and won because of guess what……..DEPTH. Seahawk fanbase is so funny……..you guys crack me up.

  21. pop562 says: Lots of name calling coming from the Seahawks fan base.

    rodneygreen2014 says: It’s so funny how Seahawk fans always show up on a 49er blog.

    ———————-
    Yeah, because 49er fans (And Viking fans for some insane reason) never comment on Seahawk articles. Pretty much every article on PFT gets more hate mail than fan mail.

    Smack talk is fine, but in general, a little more civility would be nice.

    Also: I think of this as an NFL blog, not a team blog. I read all the posts about all of the teams because I’m a fan of the game.

  22. SO this guy violates both polcies and gets 9 games and gets to go to the facility but Gordon gets a year and can’t visit facility cuz of a ? test result. Come on man!

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