NFL: No deadline for Aldon Smith decision

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So when does the NFL owe Raiders linebacker Aldon Smith a decision on his application for reinstatement? Whenever the league feels like giving him a decision, apparently.

Last week, ESPN’s Adam Schefter said the league must decide within 60 days after an application is made whether a player banished for at least a year under the substance-abuse policy should be reinstated.

The relevant language comes from Appendix B to the substance-abuse policy, which states that “[a]ll individuals involved in the process will take steps to enable the Commissioner to render a decision within 60 days of the receipt of the application [for reinstatement].”

As noted on Sunday, the wording of that provision could be interpreted as not actually requiring the Commissioner to make a decision within 60 days. And, coincidentally or not (not), that’s how the NFL interprets it.

In response to an email asking the league whether the language quoted above requires a decision from the Commissioner within 60 days, an NFL spokesman said, “No. All parties make every effort to be in a position for the league to make a decision within 60 days. Every step of the process must be completed.”

Smith applied for reinstatement 63 days ago, so “every effort” wasn’t enough. And with no information from the league regarding when or if a decision will be made, it’s impossible to know when or if a decision will be made — and why a decision hasn’t happened.

For Smith and the Raiders, time is of the essence. But that apparently isn’t compelling the league to take action.

It’s hard not to wonder whether the league is dragging its feet on this one simply because it has the power to drag its feet. If, the message may be, the players don’t like it they can negotiate for a more clear deadline — and make an appropriate concession to get it.

So here’s what all players should takeaway from the Aldon Smith situation: If the league intends to do the bare minimum that it’s required to do under the labor deal, so should you. Which means, among other things, choosing not to participate in part or all of the 2017 offseason program.

30 responses to “NFL: No deadline for Aldon Smith decision

  1. If Aldon Smith’s team 60 days ago filed for reinstatement and turned over evidence of compliance of his banishment, then isn’t 60 days ample time for the league to do it’s own investigation? Where is the union on this? For the league to have a player in limbo for a period of time is a joke.

    Now, if part of the reinstatement process was not completed by Aldon Smith’s team, then shame on them and the league should wait to receive everything they need. Unfortunately, since it’s “confidential”, we’ll never know whether or not Aldon’s fire up session is the reason he hasn’t been reinstated yet. Or his subsequent stint in rehab.

  2. I don’t really care if you think Aldon Smith should be re-instated or not. Either way the NFL needs to make some type of statement and stop dragging their feet.

    It’s as if they try to find ways to screw things up instead of just stating what is going on here.

  3. More Rodger BS. This would not happen to a player on the Giants, Cowboys, Steelers or any of Rodger’s close buddies.
    Raiders are taking the high road but this is garbage. Especially for the player who misses out on millions in the process.

  4. Hey Roger where is Aldon….oh I know he is down at the courthouse getting ready to sue you for discrimination under chapter 4 of the ADA.which clearly states:

    “An employer may not discriminate against a person who has a history of drug addiction but who is not currently using drugs and who has been rehabilitated.”

    Sorry Roger you and your ego, or the CBA are not above the law….Do it today Aldon, what do you have to lose?

    Go Raiders!!!!

  5. I guess the lesson is don’t be an alcoholic… then you don’t have to worry about ANY process.

    And the raiders had their Texans game gift wrapped for them by the league, so don’t cry about who you think is against you. But crying is what you do best so… carry on.

  6. The players must address the parameters regarding suspensions in the next CBA, and I hope they are willing to stand firm on the subject…..

  7. Oh the irony! If he was on any other team, Raiders would be screaming for a life time ban. But since he’s is a “Raider,” this fine, misunderstood addict must be reinstated immediately even though the NFL is under no requirement to reinstate. Pound sound Newbie Nation! Looks like you will have to wait longer for this fine, great Leader! LOL!

  8. “So here’s what all players should takeaway from the Aldon Smith situation: If the league intends to do the bare minimum that it’s required to do under the labor deal, so should you. Which means, among other things, choosing not to participate in part or all of the 2017 offseason program.”

    ************************************************

    Maybe what the players should take away from the aldon Smith situation INSTEAD:
    Act like a mature, law abiding citizen. Be productive in Society, not a threat to society.

    dont put Goodell on notice, he is not the person who did wrong here. How bout putting the blame where it belongs…..on the PLAYER

    When a player puts the bare minimum in acting like a good citizen, a role model, and an employee, then dont pout and cry when the Commisioner puts the bare minimum of effort in allowing you to return.

    playing in the league is a priviledge……not a right

  9. radrntn says:
    Dec 5, 2016 5:39 PM
    Hey Roger where is Aldon….oh I know he is down at the courthouse getting ready to sue you for discrimination under chapter 4 of the ADA.which clearly states:

    “An employer may not discriminate against a person who has a history of drug addiction but who is not currently using drugs and who has been rehabilitated.”

    Sorry Roger you and your ego, or the CBA are not above the law….Do it today Aldon, what do you have to lose?

    Go Raiders!!!!

    20 3
    ——————————————–

    Actually legally binding CBAs do overrule the law. In this case the league and union have an agreed upon way to deal with drug suspensions and reinstatements. That supersedes the law you stated. Otherwise any player who’s suspended for X games could cite that law to gain reinstatement.

    How the league is dealing with this, and whether they’re doing it in accordance to the CBA is the issue, because that is the law of the land in the NFL.

  10. I know it’s not applicable per se, but it’d be nice if Herr Goddell had ever read the 6th Amendment. I suppose we should get used to the Constitution being shat upon.

  11. radrntn says:
    Dec 5, 2016 5:39 PM

    Sorry Roger you and your ego, or the CBA are not above the law….
    ————————-

    Lawl. Where have you been for the last 2 years?

  12. The league has to get this right. Aldon has some serious issues, and he’s put innocent people’s lives in jeopardy when he was behind the wheel of a car. The league is all about second and third and fourth chances, but they care about everyone in the community, not just the football players. Reggie McKenzie and Jack Del Rio are good guys too, and I’m sure everyone is aware of the bigger picture. The NFL isn’t going to look too smart if they reinstate Smith and he goes out and kills someone next week. That person’s family isn’t going to care a whole lot about the Raiders’ pass rush. That’s one of the reasons Roger Goodell makes the big bucks. He usually makes the right decision too, even if he is too powerful for some people’s liking.

  13. Aldon Smith does not deserve to play with true men again. Let him try MMA. The man is a waste product. NFL does not have to do anything. He was suspended forever and no one has to explain why he will not play again. Waste product Aldon. Live with it dude.

  14. Get caught cheating… 4 game suspension

    Drive ten miles an hour over the speed limit while under the influence of alcohol and kill someone crossing the road… 1 year suspension

    Run a bounty fund for three years… 11 month suspension

    Rear end someone while alledgedly under the influence of alcohol and take off… almost 13 months and counting

  15. The appalling thing is just letting a man blow in the wind because you can. Re instate him or don’t but make a decision, let Smith and his team know why the decision was move on. If the decision is not to reinstate then let Smith know what he needs to do.

  16. While I understand and agree that being afforded the opportunity to play in the NFL should be considered a privilege, it is in fact closer to being a right by law. You or I have that same right, as long as one of the thirty two orginization offers us employment at any position in the orginization. Any working man should understand and support each other’s right to work where he chooses.

  17. atwatercrushesokoye says:
    Dec 5, 2016 6:14 PM
    Actually legally binding CBAs do overrule the law.
    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
    Federal labor law imposes a duty of fair representation on unions, that is, they must act reasonably, in a non-discriminatory fashion and in good faith, with respect to the employees they represent. This duty of fair representation may include assisting an employee in obtaining a reasonable accommodation, or cooperating with an employer in attempting to determine a reasonable accommodation within the bargaining unit and the terms of the collective bargaining agreement.

    The ADA prohibits employers from entering into collective bargaining agreements that discriminate against individuals protected by the ADA.

  18. The NFL and Aldon Smith’s representatives are making arrangements for a meeting between the suspended pass rusher and Commissioner Roger Goodell or another league official to discuss Smith’s possible reinstatement, a person with knowledge of the situation confirmed to USA TODAY Sports on Monday.

  19. radrntn says:
    Dec 5, 2016 9:04 PM
    atwatercrushesokoye says:
    Dec 5, 2016 6:14 PM
    Actually legally binding CBAs do overrule the law.
    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
    Federal labor law imposes a duty of fair representation on unions, that is, they must act reasonably, in a non-discriminatory fashion and in good faith, with respect to the employees they represent. This duty of fair representation may include assisting an employee in obtaining a reasonable accommodation, or cooperating with an employer in attempting to determine a reasonable accommodation within the bargaining unit and the terms of the collective bargaining agreement.

    The ADA prohibits employers from entering into collective bargaining agreements that discriminate against individuals protected by the ADA.

    1 0
    Report comment
    ———————————————

    A valid CBA with a drug policy in it does take precedence. If it didn’t any player who was suspended for a year could automatically file suit and get back to work as soon as they could produce clean drug tests.

    As part of the NFL drug policy, players who are suspended are tested regularly, and then once nearing return are allowed to practice and be with their teams.

    As far as the union representing him, this article makes it look as if Smith and his agent have gone on their own to try to get him reinstated, perhaps the union is aware of something that we aren’t? Which might be why they’re not helping his case.

    Also not helping Aldon Smith’s case is the periscope video that popped up earlier this year, I’m sure that will come up when the NFL does go to decide his future. Or perhaps it already has, which is why the union isn’t involved?

    Either way, if he files suit, the NFL will immediately produce the valid CBA, the judges will look at the relevant parts and dismiss the case because the valid CBA takes precedence.

  20. He didn’t honor the deadline of “hey, stop the drinking” so why do they have to do anything?

  21. Like I said Aldon sue them, the law is on your side, and Roger’s ego will lose….at this point you have nothing to lose, but everything to gain.

    ( I am basing my opinion that Aldon Smith complied with everything the NFL asked of him the past year.)

  22. RegisHawk says:
    Dec 6, 2016 6:12 AM
    He didn’t honor the deadline of “hey, stop the drinking” so why do they have to do anything?
    – – – – – — — – – –

    If you are talking about the one year suspension he got last year for the incident on August 7th 2015, , he did his time, with the assurance if you comply with these requirements, you will be re-instated after one year. So if he did comply, why is he not back???? Now if you personally have been drinking with him, well then that is a whole other story we yet to know about

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