As if it hasn’t become kinda obvious being that it’s the Friday before the Raiders season finale, but it is being reported that Aldon Smith will indeed not be reinstated by the NFL this season, according to Pro Football Talk.
NFL will not be reinstating Raiders LB Aldon Smith this season, per source. Commissioner will revisit the case on March 15, 2017.— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) December 30, 2016
The only hope the Raiders may have had at this point was Roger Goodell would allow Smith to return for the playoff run. But that always seemed highly unlikely.
What most seem to not understand about Smith’s suspension is it was a complete ban from the NFL for ‘at least’ a year at which point the Commissioner could decide if/when to reinstate him.
That reinstatement was dependent upon Smith’s behavior over the one-year ban, which ended on November 17. The video that came out which appeared to show Smith smoking a rolled joint and prompted his checking into a rehab facility was enough to keep the Commissioner from reinstating him this season.
Once four weeks had passed, it seemed the most likely conclusion was Smith would not be allowed back this season.
The Raiders have not had a great deal of sacks this season (25) without him, but the duo of Khalil Mack and Bruce Irvin have had the team not desperate for Smith’s services.
From the sounds of it, the Raiders could have Smith back for their offseason program, should he keep his nose clean, to play the second season of the two-year deal he signed with the team prior to this season.