Oakland Raiders outside linebacker Aldon Smith received a one-year suspension from the NFL for his role in an August 28 incident.
ESPN's Adam Schefter initially reported the news Tuesday, and the Raiders later confirmed it. The talented but troubled pass-rusher is dealing with the consequences of persistent off-field issues, and the team confirmed it will stick with Smith and was anticipating his suspension.
Smith released a statement regarding today's news, via Raiders.com:
First, I want to thank the Raiders, my teammates, the fans, our coaches and our owner for supporting me throughout all of this.
I am taking this time to work on myself and become the man I need to be, my team and organization needs me to be, and I know I can be.
I had lost my love for the game and it led me to some poor choices, but I am thankful to the Raider organization for believing in me this season and will continue to better myself and grow from my experiences. I look forward to rejoining the team next year.
Tom Pelissero of USA Today noted the suspension is for substance abuse and that Smith is a repeat offender. NFL.com's Chris Trapasso reacted to the situation and alluded to how Smith's past impacted the disciplinary action:
Smith was arrested in California on August 6 on DUI and hit-and-run charges. The San Francisco 49ers released their 2011 first-round draft pick shortly thereafter, as it was Smith's third DUI arrest. He also served a nine-game suspension in 2014 for a violation of the league's personal conduct and substance abuse policies.
Ed Werder of ESPN reported Smith will lose $323,529 for each game missed for the remainder of the season. Fox Sports' Mike Garafolo indicated Smith is missing out on $514,000 in base salary and $1.75 million in roster bonuses.
When he returns from suspension, he will be a free agent, per Garafolo.
On their front seven, the Raiders have Khalil Mack and Mario Edwards Jr., who should keep producing in Smith's absence. However, Oakland's depth at outside linebacker is being tested between Smith's suspension and the ongoing investigation into Ray-Ray Armstrong's alleged taunting of a police dog.
Most concerning is what Smith's loss means for the team's pass defense. His knack for hounding opposing quarterbacks commands attention and was aiding an Oakland secondary that is among the worst in the NFL.
Aging star Charles Woodson is the defensive backfield's only legitimate playmaker. Former first-round pick D.J. Hayden hasn't produced, and no one else has inspired much optimism for a unit that allows 293.2 passing yards per contest.