Roger Goodell sat on his hands this season when the one-year minimum ban came up for Raiders pass rusher Aldon Smith. It left his return up to an expected meeting in March between Smith and Goodell. Now, according to Ian Rapoport, that meeting is expected to result in reinstatement.
#Raiders LB Aldon Smith will be reinstated in March, sources say, barring a slip up in the drug program. His request was deferred in Dec.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) February 5, 2017
A March reinstatement would mean Smith is back in the NFL for the start of the 2017 league year, ready for the team’s first OTA’s in April, giving him his first full offseason with the team.
Had Smith been a model citizen, it’s possible he would have returned when he was first eligible. It was a questionable video that came out that most likely threw a wrench in that plan.
He immediately checked into rehab and the only videos we’ve seen from him since were him working out, preparing for a return that comes later than he had hoped.
The silver lining for the Raiders to him not returning last season is the 2-year contract he signed tolls and therefore will not to start until next season.