It’s hard to believe that in early March, with the end of the league year upcoming, we had pondered whether Aldon Smith may finally have turned things around and seemed like he may even have a chance at resuming his NFL career. He must have heard this because he quickly and thoroughly destroyed any chance he would ever take an NFL field again.
Last Valentines Day he proposed to his new girlfriend of 4 months. Three weeks later, in the late night/early morning hours of March 4, he was involved in a domestic violence incident with his new fiance and fled the scene before police arrived.
The incident sealed his fate and the next day the Raiders cut ties with him. He eventually showed up in rehab and soon thereafter was arrested and charged with domestic violence.
That would seem like rock bottom. His NFL career officially done and his new engagement wrecked. But no. This is Aldon Smith we’re talking about. He had farther to fall.
On March 23, he was arrested again for violating the restraining order against him from seeing his former fiance and charged with three misdemeanor counts.
Now, two weeks since then, he has been arrested a third time, this time for violating the terms of his bail. He is now being held by the San Francisco Police Department on $500K bond.
Smith was an All Pro pass rusher in 2012 with 19.5 sacks for the San Francisco 49ers. Several incidents including a domestic violence incident and multiple DUI arrests had the 49ers cut ties with him in 2015. He signed on with the Raiders and appeared in 9 games with 7 starts before the NFL banned him for his offseason DUI arrest.
The original banishment was for a minimum of one year. With that in mind, the Raiders re-signed him to a new two year deal. But several other self destructive incidents, many of which involved alcoholism, led commissioner Roger Goodell to keep Smith out of the league for what is now 2.5 years and appears to be permanent at this point.
A long stint in jail may be good for Smith if only to protect him from himself. The best we can hope for at this point is to one day see him talking to NFL rookies as a cautionary tale. Most other alternatives that come to mind are much worse.