The NFL announced Friday that 49ers OLB Aldon Smith will receive a nine-game suspension.
49ers Aldon Smith suspended 9 games. Full NFL statement here: pic.twitter.com/cvZfABog45
— Randall Liu (@RLiuNFL) August 29, 2014
Smith’s suspension is actually a combination of substance abuse and personal conduct policies, which explains the nine-game suspension. He will be eligible to return on November 10 and play against the Saints.
Statement from 49ers GM Trent Baalke:
“Our organization has known this decision would come and we have prepared for it as a team,” 49ers general manager Trent Baalke said in a statement released by the team on Friday.
“Aldon has taken responsibility for his actions and has continued to show growth personally and professionally. We will continue to support him, but it is time to put this matter behind us and focus on the season ahead.”
Tom Pelissero is reporting that Smith’s settlement with the league will allow him to be around the team and participate in meetings, but obviously can’t play in games.
This is a huge blow to the 49ers defense as they were hoping that Smith would receive a suspension around four games.
Smith is facing felony gun charges and was arrested for DUI in the past year. He was also arrested for allegedly making a bomb threat at LAX airport, but isn’t facing charges for this incident.
San Francisco picked up Smith’s fifth-year option a few months ago, which is a pretty good indication that he remains in their long-term plans as long as he can prevent any new off-the-field issues from occurring.
Smith, 24, appeared in 11 games for the 49ers last year and totaled 34 tackles and 8.5 sacks. Pro Football Focus had him rated as the No. 5 outside linebacker in a 3-4 system last year.