Aldon Smith’s new NFL contract comes with major questions

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A player who was poised to become one of the best pass rushers in league history had his career interrupted in a way that had seemed permanent. Even though he has a new deal with the Cowboys, the interruption may still be permanent — for three reasons.

First, despite the dramatic relaxation of most aspects of the substance-abuse policy, the reinstatement procedures for players indefinitely suspended under the policy have not changed. At all. The Commissioner still has exclusive discretion to determine who gets back in. The Commissioner still has no deadline for making a decision. The player, when reinstated, still faces another indefinite ban for any violation of the substance-abuse policy.

Second, Smith’s latest suspension arose not from a positive marijuana test but charges of DUI (along with hit and run and vandalism). In the new CBA, the consequences for drunk driving have increased, not decreased. It could be much harder for him to get back in than it will be for a guy who simply had too many positive tests for street drugs.

Third, Smith hasn’t played in more than four years. That’s a ridiculously long break from football at the highest level. With no guaranteed money in his deal, the Cowboys won’t hesitate to pull the plug on the experiment if he’s nowhere close to what he used to be, assuming the league lets him back in.

Here’s hoping that it all works out for Smith. But, remember, every player who gets a second chance takes away someone else’s first chance. Before Smith claims a 53-man roster spot that would otherwise go to someone else, Smith needs to show that he’s more worthy of a 53-man roster spot than that someone else.

7 responses to “Aldon Smith’s new NFL contract comes with major questions

  1. The track record for players just out of re-hab is not good (see Randy Gregory). That being said, perhaps Aldon is the exception. Yes, he takes a spot from someone else, it’s a no-lose situation for Dallas.

  2. Wouldn’t a couple years of sobriety and staying out of trouble be a good start?

  3. 2distorted says:
    April 3, 2020 at 9:18 am
    Wouldn’t a couple years of sobriety and staying out of trouble be a good start?
    I agree with this and think he should be given another shot. But he hasn’t played footbacll since 2015. It’s not like you take 5 years off and come back as an unstoppable stud. I would be shocked if he could get back to being 1/4 of his old self.

  4. It’s hard to take him seriously because he’s had so many chances and just thrown them away (a la Josh Gordon). Just think about the amount of money he’s thrown away because he felt entitled to do whatever he wanted. It’s a shame because he had HoF-level talent. I can’t feel sorry for someone who had so much and threw it all away. I think we all hoped he’d get his head together because he was so good on the field. It’s like the boy who cried wolf one too many times.

  5. Tune this experiment out. He will never play again. He needs to be reinstated first and then How many players can take 5 years off and compete with current players. Perhaps if he was a kicker but otherwise forget it.

  6. I love when people comment and have no idea what they are talking about. Do any of you know this man has been part of Jay Glaziers camp. Been mentored by a veteran and has been sober a long time. Maybe you should do your homework before you run your mouth

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