AP source: Aldon Smith makes reinstatement case to Goodell
ALAMEDA, Calif. (AP) Suspended Oakland Raiders pass rusher Aldon Smith met with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell on Friday in hopes of being reinstated from his substance-abuse ban.
A person with knowledge of the meeting said Smith sat down with the commissioner and other league staff to make his case to be allowed back on the field following his yearlong suspension for violating rules on substance abuse.
The person spoke on condition of anonymity to The Associated Press because the reinstatement process is confidential. There is no timeline for when or if Smith will be reinstated.
NFL Media first reported the meeting.
Smith was suspended for one year in November 2015 for violating the substance-abuse policy. That stemmed from an arrest in August on charges of drunken driving, hit-and-run, and vandalism, which led to his release by the San Francisco 49ers. That was Smith’s fifth run-in with the law since joining the NFL as a first-round pick by San Francisco in 2011.
Smith signed with Oakland in September 2015 and played nine games before being suspended for a second time by the NFL.
Smith also missed the first nine games of the 2014 season while serving an NFL suspension for violations of the league’s substance-abuse and personal-conduct policies. He missed time during the 2013 season to undergo treatment at an inpatient facility following his DUI arrest that September.
Smith also reportedly entered a treatment center this summer after video linked to his Periscope account showed possible marijuana use.
Despite his problems, the Raiders signed Smith to a two-year contract in April. They have been unable to have direct contact with him during the suspension but have kept tabs on him through his agent.
Smith had been a key part of Oakland’s defense last season, providing another pass rushing threat to go along with All-Pro Khalil Mack. Smith had just 3 1/2 sacks in nine games, but did provide 36 quarterback pressures, according to Pro Football Focus, and was stout against the run.
Despite adding free agent Bruce Irvin in the offseason to fill Smith’s role, Oakland (10-3) is tied for 23rd in the NFL with 22 sacks and is giving up a league-worst 6.2 yards per play.
Smith has been one of the league’s best pass rushers when available, with 47 1/2 sacks in 59 career games. But he has played just 16 games over the past three seasons.
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