It’s been over 16 months since Aldon Smith last donned an NFL uniform, notching a sack and three tackles in an Oakland Raiders loss to the Minnesota Vikings on November 15, 2015. Since then, he’s been suspended, a repeat offender of the league’s substance abuse policy.
One of the stipulations of Smith’s suspension is that he cannot have contact with anyone in the Raiders organization outside the director of player engagement. Head coach Jack Del Rio was critical of that rule on Tuesday, saying that he wants to be able to support Smith.
“It’s a little bit frustrating to not be able to be a part of the process. My feel is that I could help him, but the experts know. The experts don’t allow that. We have to follow the rules.
“It does get frustrating to not be able to help a young man and provide support and provide structure. Somebody else has to make those decisions. It’s just out of my hands,” said Del Rio, via CSN Bay Area
At this point, it’s tough to imagine Smith being reinstated anytime soon. He’s been arrested as recently as the last month (more on that here) and has repeatedly failed to reform. Perhaps contact with Del Rio could help, but we’re not getting optimistic any time soon.