Oakland Raiders setting Aldon Smith up to fail…again

The Oakland Raiders signed Aldon Smith to a one-year deal, but based on comments by the veteran leadership on the team, the troubled pass-rusher is bound to fail once again.

Smith has been arrested five times since 2012. He’s been charged with driving under the influence three times, was arrested on suspicion of making bomb threats at LAX and was busted on three felony counts of possessing illegal firearms.

It’s quite the troubling resume, especially when you consider his latest faux pas could potentially land him in jail for two-and-a-half years.

You’d think a team interested on bringing in a player with this kind of rap sheet might be inclined to surround him with veterans who could help him avoid trouble in the future. However, based on comments coming out of Oakland’s locker room, nothing could be further from the truth.

Justin Tuck and Charles Woodson are the two alpha dogs on Oakland’s defensive roster, and they’d be the first names to pop into mind regarding players who could potentially help Smith navigate the troubled waters he finds himself currently residing in.

However, neither player seems inclined to be that kind of teammate, as we can see from the following quotes, via Carl Steward.

Woodson isn’t going to babysit Smith and doesn’t think it’s the job of any Raiders players to do it, saying, “He’s a grown man.”

Tuck believes Smith is a “self-aware type of dude” who would let players know how to help him.

It’s like these guys have zero clue about what’s been going on with Smith the past three years.

The only reasonable way to bring a guy like him—with a laundry list of off-field issues—is to have a clear-cut plan to support him. At this point, it seems like the plan—at least in the locker room—is to let Smith sink or swim based on his own judgement.

This is doomed to fail. Smith proved time and time again during his tenure with the San Francisco 49ers that his judgement is in no way, shape or form worthy of trust. Without significant support, he is going to revert back to the behavior that got him in hot water with the law and the NFL to begin with.

Quite honestly, Oakland signing him at this time was in poor judgement. The young man clearly has deep-seeded issues that have yet to be dealt with. By continuing to treat him as if there is nothing wrong, the Raiders are just feeding the destructive cycle of addiction.

But all NFL personnel men seem to think about these days is whether or not a player can help them on the field. Make no mistake about it, Smith is one of the top three or five pass-rushers in the NFL when his head is right.

Unfortunately, his head hasn’t been consistently in a good place since his rookie campaign, and the Raiders are only making things worse.