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Former Raiders LB Aldon Smith reinstated

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Smith hasn’t played since 2015 with Oakland

San Antonio Spurs v Golden State Warriors Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

Aldon Smith last played in an NFL game on Nov. 15, 2015 as a member of the Oakland Raiders. He had one sack in 51 snaps that day against the Minnesota Vikings and two days later he was suspended for one year due to a hit and run.

Smith has spent the last four seasons unable to play in the league because of suspensions for various matters. On Tuesday, it was reported that the NFL is reinstating Smith, who signed with the Dallas Cowboys earlier this year.

Smith had 3.5 sacks over nine games with the Raiders in 2015, his first and only playing with the team. He had previously been the seventh overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft by the San Francisco 49ers, going ahead of future Hall of Famers like Tyron Smith and J.J. Watt. Smith appeared to be at least as good as those two early, posting 14 sacks as a rookie, then 19.5 sacks in year two. Smith was again productive in year three, putting up 8.5 sacks in only 11 games, but by that point he was nearly on his way out of the league.

After posting 42 sacks from 2011-2013, Smith has had 5.5 sacks from 2014-2019 because of all the time he’s been suspended.

His time with the Raiders was enough for them to re-sign him and hold out hope for his reinstatement, but ultimately it took longer than they could wait.