Yes, the Raiders have re-signed pass rusher Aldon Smith. No, it doesn’t change the fact that he remains under suspension.
Widely characterized as a one-year suspension, Smith technically has been banished with the opportunity to reapply for reinstatement one year after his suspension began on November 17, 2015. With, as recently noted in connection with the league’s lingering failure to rule on the reinstatement petition of Browns receiver Josh Gordon, the NFL under no obligation to move swiftly or at all, there’s no reason to believe that Smith definitely will be reinstated one year after the suspension began — even if he dots every “i” and crosses every “t” during his time away from the game.
The decision of the Raiders to sign Smith while he’s suspended is admirable, giving him reason to stay on the straight and narrow in the hopes of getting the green light to return. But Smith ultimately will do nothing for the Raiders until the league reinstates him, and that will happen no sooner than the middle of November. It also could happen a lot later than that, too.