Veterans in NFL locker rooms are often expected to guide troubled players, but don’t expect Oakland Raiders safety Charles Woodson to watch over newly signed defensive end Aldon Smith.
According to Carl Steward of the Bay Area News Group, Woodson said the team won’t babysit the 25-year-old, because that shouldn’t be necessary.
Charles Woodson says he won't babysit Aldon Smith and doesn't think it is Raiders players' obligation: "He's a grown man."
— Carl Steward (@stewardsfolly) September 11, 2015
The last couple years have been an eventful time for the former San Francisco 49ers standout. The ‘Niners released Smith due to repeated off-the-field troubles, and the defensive end is facing three misdemeanor charges and possible jail time for his latest arrest.
Nevertheless, the Raiders took a chance on the 2012 All-Pro, who could form an outstanding combination with 2014 first-round pick Khalil Mack.
Granted, Smith might not have that chance for a while. NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport noted a suspension is being considered.
Aldon Smith is eligible to sign, by the way. @NFL & local law enforcement officials sorting out whether he’ll be suspended or how long.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) September 11, 2015
Smith was suspended for nine games of the 2014 season after violating the league’s substance abuse policy.
Woodson and the rest of the Raiders certainly don’t have a responsibility to keep Smith in line, but it wouldn’t be surprising to hear a couple players speak up and say they’ll look out for him.
No matter what happens, though, it’s up to Smith—a grown man—to take advantage of what will ultimately be the once-promising star’s final opportunity if he messes up again.