Aldon Smith, Cowboys Agree to Contract; Hasn't Played Since 2015

Paul KasabianSenior Contributor

OAKLAND, CA - NOVEMBER 15:  Outside linebacker Aldon Smith #99 of the Oakland Raiders celebrates in the third quarter against the Minnesota Vikings at O.co Coliseum on November 15, 2015 in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

Former defensive end Aldon Smith, whom the NFL suspended indefinitely after a series of legal concerns, reportedly signed with the Dallas Cowboys on Wednesday.

Jay Glazer of Fox Sports and The Athletic broke the news on Smith, whose one-year deal is worth $4 million, per NFL Network's Ian Rapoport.

Smith took to Instagram to confirm the news, per Rapoport:

Ian Rapoport @RapSheet

From last night: New #Cowboys pass-rusher Aldon Smith weighs in on signing an NFL contract amid his push for reinstatement https://t.co/RqR4ZKyagX https://t.co/RxyIzgfBoX

The NFL still needs to reinstate Smith, but Rapoport noted that Dallas is apparently "confident that it will happen."

Rapoport noted that Smith will have a $2 million base salary and can earn an additional $2 million in incentives.

However, Smith's reinstatement is not necessarily a given.

"A league source said that commissioner Roger Goodell is yet to determine Aldon Smith's eligibility to return to play in the NFL and that his unresolved status is the same as that of Cowboys defensive end Randy Gregory in terms of the reinstatement process," ESPN's Ed Werder reported.

Smith played from 2011-14 for the San Francisco 49ers before spending the 2015 season with the Oakland Raiders.

ESPN's Paul Gutierrez wrote a timeline of Smith's legal issues that include three arrests involving DUI, three felony counts of possessing illegal assault weapons, an arrest on suspicion of making false bomb threats at Los Angeles International Airport as well as charges of a hit-and-run and vandalism.

The hit-and-run and vandalism charges, which also came with Smith's third DUI arrest, led to the 49ers releasing him in August 2015.

Three years later, TMZ Sports reported that Smith's former fiancee said he attacked her at their Bay Area home while intoxicated.

Per Evan Sernoffsky of the San Francisco Chronicle, Smith pleaded no-contest to two misdemeanors stemming from the domestic violence case. ESPN reported that those misdemeanors were violating a court order and false imprisonment. He was sentenced to 90 days in jail and three years of probation.

ESPN also reported that Smith "originally faced charges of domestic violence, assault with force likely to produce great bodily injury, false imprisonment and vandalism stemming from a March 3 incident involving his then-fiancee."

The Raiders released Smith in March 2018.

The seventh overall draft pick in 2011, the 6'4", 265-pound Missouri product amassed 33.5 sacks in his first two seasons with the 49ers and looked like he was on track to become an all-time defensive great.

However, legal troubles arose in 2013 when he was arrested on suspicion of DUI after he crashed his truck into a tree in San Jose, California, per Gutierrez. Smith entered himself into rehab and missed five games.

The NFL suspended him for nine games in 2014 for violating its personal-conduct and substance abuse policies.

One year later, the 49ers released Smith during the preseason. Then-49ers head coach Jim Tomsula stressed that the team would be supporting him despite his release (h/t Mike Foss of USA Today):

"I understand the platform that we are on. I understand where this goes in the news. And what I would like to say is if one person out there reads this, and you're struggling, get help. Go get it. You're worth it. You're worth it. There's value in every human being. Get the help. You don't have to walk alone. Find it. It's there. And although Aldon will not be playing football here, we will be supporting him. He will not be alone."

Smith has reportedly received that help. Glazer wrote that he is "clean and sober" and that it's "incredible how much he's turned his life around."


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