The Cowboys on Wednesday night signed edge rusher Aldon Smith to a one-year deal. Smith hasn't played since 2015 because of NFL suspensions for both legal and drug issues but is reportedly seeking reinstatement. He racked up 14 sacks as a 49ers rookie way back in 2011 and then climbed to 19.5 in his 2nd season. Smith dealt with injuries and off-field issues over the next 3 seasons, last playing 9 games -- and tallying just 3.5 sacks -- with the 2015 Raiders. He'll turn 31 shortly after the 2020 season begins, so we'll see what Smith looks like whenever team workouts become possible again. If he approaches his early career form, there are certainly plenty of snaps available after DE Robert Quinn left to sign with the Bears. Smith's worth a stash in IDP dynasty leagues where possible.
The league on Tuesday suspended Raiders OLB Aldon Smith for a year for violating the substance abuse policy. Smith's violation appears to be for alcohol, stemming from the Aug. 6 incident that led the Niners to release him. The timing means Smith will need to apply for reinstatement next fall and won't be eligible to play until November. Oakland's decision to sign him in the wake of that incident and impending league action indicates the Raiders would be willing to stick with Smith in 2016. “Aldon has been a positive addition to the Raiders,” the team said in a statement. “He remains prominently in our long term plans and we will continue to support this member of our family as he gets the help that he needs.” The pass-rusher has played well for Oakland, tying Khalil Mack or the team lead with 8 QB hits and totaling 3.5 sacks. Smith will turn 27 next September and remains worth keeping in deep dynasty IDP leagues. As for the Raiders defense this year ... it'll certainly miss 1 of just 3 players on the team with more than 1.5 sacks.
Raiders OLB Aldon Smith played 91% of the 77 defensive snaps in Sunday's loss to the Bears, according to CSN Bay Area. That marked his most playing time since signing with Oakland and helped Smith generate 6 solo tackles and a sack. More playing time obviously increases his chances of compiling stats for your IDP lineup, and Smith had already generated some solid hidden pressure numbers before his 1st sack of the season in Week 4. He'll carry significant upside going forward for leagues that score sacks well (more than 3 points per tackle point).
NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reports that the Raiders expect to play LB Aldon Smith for about 20 snaps today against the Bengals. Smith reportedly chose the Raiders over Jacksonville, Tampa and Washington despite the lowest payout. That points to big opportunity for playing time and perhaps the best fit schematically. We'll be quite curious to see what Smith can do on his 1-year deal in Oakland and how much he can boost a Raiders D that has been forgettable for a while.
The Raiders on Friday signed former 49ers OLB Aldon Smith to a 1-year deal. NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reports that Smith had at least 3 other teams interested. Signing with the Raiders indicates either that they made the best money offer or presented the best opportunity for playing time. With limited pass-rushing beyond Khalil Mack, we'd bet Oakland promised Smith the opportunity to play his way into the rotation as quickly as he can prove ready. The 1-year deal should have Smith motivated to deliver this year before hitting the open market in March. The fact that Mack has lined up as a 3-4 OLB and 4-3 DE while keeping a LB designation in many fantasy leagues means we should expect the same for Smith. If he gets a DL tag, of course, his IDP value will grow significantly. For now, he's a player to watch in your fantasy football league rather than 1 to chase down immediately on waivers -- unless you play in a deep IDP format. The Raiders' team D, meanwhile, could get a big boost if they get the same kind of player we saw when Smith was on the field for the Niners.
ESPN's Jim Trotter reports that the 49ers will cut OLB Aldon Smith, according to a team source. Smith, of course, got arrested Thursday night and charged with hit-and-run, DUI and vandalism. Smith got arrested back in January 2012 on suspicion of DUI, which eventually turned into reckless driving. Later in 2012 came felony weapons charges (which eventually got reduced). September 2013 brought another DUI charge, which precipitated Smith's voluntary entry into rehab. The NFL suspended him for the 1st 9 games of last season for violating the personal-conduct and substance-abuse policies. Smith will likely have to prove he's on track personally before another team will take a chance on him. As for the 49ers defense ... just go ahead and send a sympathy note.
Santa Clara police say they arrested 49ers OLB Aldon Smith Thursday night on charges of hit-and-run, DUI and vandalism. Besides simply being dangerous, that's a bad blow to Smith's playing status. The star pass rusher already lost half of 2013 to time spent in alcohol rehab, and then the league suspended him 9 games for legal issues last season. Barring dismissal of charges here, it's tough to imagine Smith escaping an even longer league ban. We'll see how -- and how quickly -- this situation develops. But Smith seems on the verge of completely blowing a career that looked so promising just 3 years ago. Any missed time for Smith will only further hurt a defense that has already lost Patrick Willis, Chris Borland and Justin Smith to retirement this offseason.
New 49ers HC Jim Tomsula said at his Thursday press conference that his defense will continue to run from a 3-4 base. There had been rumors of a switch to a 4-3 front after DC Vic Fangio left, which had IDP owners dreaming of an alignment that could accommodate LBs NaVorro Bowman, Patrick Willis and Chris Borland. Instead, 2 of those players (Bowman and 1 other) figure to continue starting at the inside spots, with Aldon Smith on the outside and Ahmad Brooks or Aaron Lynch across from him. We'll see how all the lineup pieces fall for the Niners.
The agent for Niners LB Aldon Smith on Tuesday refuted the accusation that Smith was drinking with former teammate Ray McDonald on the day of the incident that produced assault charges against McDonald. "The allegation in the affidavit is completely false," Doug Hendrickson told CSNBayArea.com. "He was not there drinking. This is unfortunate because we're talking about a kid who is doing everything right, working in the community and with kids," Hendrickson told CSN Bay Area. "And his name gets lumped into this and it's all anybody is talking about." Guess we'll see how this one plays out.
Niners LB Aldon Smith might have violated terms of his probation, according to a California search warrant affidavit released Monday from the sexual-assault case against ex-49ers DE Ray McDonald. The affidavit says that Smith was drinking with McDonald on the night of the alleged incident, which would violate the 3-year probation Smith got after pleading "no contest" to weapons and DUI charges in July. According to CSN Bay Area, the sentencing judge said any violation -- "including drinking alcohol or going to a liquor store" -- would make him order Smith immediately to jail for "an undetermined amount of time." We'll see what happens here, but it's another potential off-field issue for a player who went to alcohol rehab last year and lost the 1st 9 games of this season to a personal-conduct suspension. Smith's in danger of wasting a career that has otherwise started quite promisingly.
49ers LB NaVorro Bowman had an MRI on his recovering left knee Thursday, and the Sacramento Bee reports that the joint is continuing to improve. But DC Vic Fangio said he doesn't yet know if Bowman will even be able to return this year. The team would need to return Bowman to the practice field Tuesday if it hopes to activate him at any point. Fangio conceded that "I'm sure it's a possibility" that Bowman could miss the rest of the season. OLB Aldon Smith will return to the field this weekend after his 9-game suspension, but Fangio deemed the team's top pass-rusher "a little rusty." He said Thursday that he hadn't yet decided just how much Smith will play against the Giants. Don't consider him an IDP option yet.
The league has reinstated 49ers OLB Aldon Smith following his 9-game suspension for off-field issues. Smith called the end of his suspension 1 of the most "exciting" moments of his life, per ESPN.com, and said watching his team total just 15 sacks through 9 games without him helped to fuel his workouts and studying while away. “My body feels good and I’m ready to go," he told reporters. IDP owners shouldn't consider Smith an immediate option. The team will likely ease him back in after more than half a season away from the field. But the Niners need his pass-rushing presence. We'll see how much of a role he plays Sunday against the Giants. Whatever Smith can add to the D will help the unit's fantasy outlook the rest of the way.
The league has suspended Niners LB Aldon Smith 9 games for violating the league substance abuse policy. Setting aside that it's more than 4 times longer than Ray Rice's suspension ... the ban will likely leave the Niners D without it's top pass-rusher and most productive ILB (NaVorro Bowman) for at least half the season. That's why we've been hands-off with the normally strong Niners team defense in fantasy football drafts this summer. If you have room to stash Smith in your sack-friendly IDP league, though, he could be a steal on draft day or off the waiver wire. He'll be back for the all-important playoff stretch of the fantasy season, and the team will likely return him to a full role as soon as he prove ready. Dan Skuta and Corey Lemonier are the top candidates to fill in while Smith is out.
49ers OLB Aldon Smith will meet with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell on Aug. 8, likely to determine the length of his suspension. Smith has presented a series of off-field incidents, though the well-publicized arrest at LAX eventually produced no charges. Smith missed time last year while in rehab for his alcohol use. Rumors have suggested a 4-6 game suspension, but we'll wait to see after the surprisingly short ban for Ray Rice. In the meantime, you should be hesitant about drafting Smith in your IDP league. His tenuous situation has also helped push the Niners down our 2014 team D rankings.
Niners OLB Aldon Smith pleaded no contest Wednesday to charges of weapons possession and DUI. He's set for a July 25 sentencing hearing, with the potential penalty ranging from no jail time to a little more than 4 years in prison. Either way, the no contest plea opens up the process for the league to decide on potential punishment. Considering Smith's recent off-field record, we'd bet on a suspension of at least a game or 2. We'll see how this affects the 2014 IDP rankings. Of course, any significant time away would likely also affect a Niners team D that already expects to miss LB NaVorro Bowman for up to half the season.
49ers LB Aldon Smith was arrested at Los Angeles Airport after allegedly yelling "bomb" near the security gate. Smith reportedly got upset that he was randomly selected for additional screening. Police claim Smith became "belligerent and uncooperative" with TSA. Sources also note the pass-rushers "appeared to be drunk." That, of course, has been a major issue for Smith. He's been arrested for DUI twice since entering the league in 2011 and missed 5 weeks for rehab this past year. Smith is also still facing illegal weapons charges from a 2012 incident at his home. Neither the 49ers nor fantasy owners can be counting on Smith this coming season.
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