NFL reviewing Aldon Smith’s case under substance-abuse policy


The decision of the Raiders to sign linebacker Aldon Smith came as a surprise to many teams, because it was assumed in the aftermath of Smith’s August arrest that he’d be suspended sooner than later.

He hasn’t been, but he eventually could be.

Per a source with knowledge of the situation, the NFL currently is reviewing Smith’s case under the substance-abuse policy. The DUI charge pending against Smith has become the focal point of the review.

Although he could be considered a repeat offender under the Personal Conduct Policy, the charges of vandalism and hit-and-run won’t create any significant problems because the accusations don’t involve violence against a person, according to the source.

A separate question for Smith arises from the possibility that he was consuming alcohol in violation of his treatment plan under the substance-abuse program. If Smith is in Stage 3 of the program, any deviation from his treatment plan could subject him to a one-year suspension, even without a failed alcohol test.

From Smith’s perspective, there was no reason to keep waiting for the league to act, because not signing with the Raiders or another team (and a separate source tells PFT that the Bucs and Jaguars offered roughly twice as much money as the Raiders did) would have operated as a de facto suspension. So Smith signed the deal, and he’ll be able to play unless and until the NFL imposes a suspension.

He’ll then be able to play while his appeal rights are fully pursued. Under the new substance-abuse policy that was finalized last September, appeals go to neutral arbitration.

It’s also possible that Smith and the NFL could negotiate a suspension, which would be imposed without exhaustion of appeal rights.

Either way, Smith remains free to play either until he agrees to a suspension or until a suspension is imposed and his appeal ends.

16 responses to “NFL reviewing Aldon Smith’s case under substance-abuse policy

  1. Aldon has had many chances. I don’t think the league should kick him out permanently, but he is running out of chances and appears to need some major help. I hope he gets it before he kills or seriously injures himself or someone else.

  2. Way to go Raiders, excellent way to help someone learn his lesson. “Who cares kids as long as the Raiders are around do whatever you want”

  3. smcgaels1997 says:
    Sep 13, 2015 9:51 PM

    Way to go Raiders, excellent way to help someone learn his lesson. “Who cares kids as long as the Raiders are around do whatever you want”
    No NFL team is in business to teach moral lessons to players.

  4. eastbayraider says:
    Sep 13, 2015 10:05 PM
    Long time Season ticket holder 4 seats. How much longer can we take this shi t!
    All the hype, Mack.. now Smith, New coach, Carr. The Raiders stunk it up today in front of home opener with sell out crowd! I/we left at 3rd qt. @ 30 to nothing!!!! Are you kidding me!!! Since 2005 we Raider fans have had to endure 52….52!!! losses at home!!! Get up early, sit in massive traffic, $35 to park. Then to see the old timers from the 70’s tribute to Stabler. What an embarassment to them. To see this crap on the field again, year after year. Im sorry to say this but, I almost hope they move so I wont have to spend my $ to see this crap year after year. Alot of Raider fans never come to the games and root from home. Well good for you.Try doing it my way. Hope you got a lot of $ to poor down the drain.Raiders didn’t do shi t today. Horrible. Ok I’ll be better next week, Hope my Raiders amnesia kicks in again…

  5. If the Raiders move back to LA, I suspect it will be just like the ’80s Raiders at the Coliseum – one whole side of the stadium looked like San Quentin parolees, the other side looked like guys who SHOULD be in San Quentin, and eventually would be. Heaven forbid you wear the opposing team’s colors to a game, as you’d be risking your life (literally). Good times. What a sad, pathetic decline for a once-proud franchise.

  6. Raider fan here. After today’s performance, is it not punishment enough to let him come and play under this regime of McLozer?

  7. San Jose is really putting the hammer down on 49er players. In most cases hitting a parked car is settled by insurance companies. I was in a gas station once, and some guy hit my car and left. I wrote down his license plate and sued him in small claims court after getting the registration information from the DMV. There was never any charge of hit and run brought against the driver who hit me. They are really throwing the book at Aldon Smith.

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