Raiders GM Reggie McKenzie mentioned during an interview with JT The Brick on 95.7 The Game that they will welcome suspended OLB Aldon Smith when/if he’s reinstated by the NFL.
“He’s still on the suspension list and that will be revisited in March by commissioner [Roger] Goodell. We’re still waiting until he signs off on it,” McKenzie said, via the Bay Area News Group. “We won’t count on him until he’s able to get off that list and be available to us. That’s a decision that’s going to be made at that point. We’ll welcome him if, and when, that happens.”
Ian Rapoport of NFL Media reports last week that Smith will be reinstated in March, barring a slip-up in the drug program.
The NFL elected to defer Smith’s reinstatement request back in December to March 15 of 2017.
Smith officially applied for a return to the NFL on October 3 of last year, which appeared to open a 60-day window for Goodell to render a decision. However, the NFL later announced that there was no timetable for them to rule on Smith’s reinstatement.
The NFL is still expected to look into whether the Periscope video that appears to show him a hand-rolled cigarette violated the protocols required for a suspended player to be reinstated.
Smith entered a rehab facility soon after the video surfaced and spent 120 days in the center.
Smith, 27, is a former first-round pick of the 49ers back in 2010. He was cut loose by the 49ers shortly after a DUI incident in 2015, even though San Francisco picked up his fifth-year option.
Smith later signed a one-year deal with the Raiders that was worth up to $8 million, which was largely incentive-based. Oakland elected to re-sign Smith to a two-year, $11.5 million contract this last April, despite the fact that he was going to miss a large portion of the 2017 season.
In 2015, Smith has recorded 28 total tackles, 3.5 sacks, and three pass defenses over the course of nine games. Pro Football Focus currently rates Smith as the No. 33 edge defender out of 110 qualifying players.