Troubled linebacker Aldon Smith and the Oakland Raiders are close to finalizing a new deal, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. Smith spent last season with the Raiders, but drew a yearlong suspension in November for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy due to a DUI arrest the previous August.
As a result, per Schefter, Smith won’t be able to apply for reinstatement until mid-September at the earliest.
Prior to his suspension, Smith had 28 tackles for 3.5 sacks across nine games. The former seventh overall pick out of Missouri had established himself as a strong pass rusher in his first four NFL seasons, spent with the San Francisco 49ers, but gained a reputation as a head case who could not stay out of trouble away from the field. Smith was arrested four times on various charges and San Francisco ultimately decided to release him last year following his DUI and hit-and-run arrest.
But Aldon Smith still wants to play, and the Raiders appear interested in bringing the 26-year-old back. The rest, however, is up to the NFL.
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