Raiders will welcome Aldon Smith back when he’s reinstated by the NFL

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

If Aldon Smith remains clean off the field, it sure looks like he will be returning to the NFL some time in March. It was reported earlier this month that the suspended Oakland Raiders linebacker will be reinstated by the league should in March should he stay out of trouble.

Smith has been suspended since November of 2015 after multiple off-field incidents, including a DUI. In fact, he’s played in a grand total of 16 games since the end of the 2013 season due to these off-field issues.

But if Smith were to be reinstated, the Raiders would welcome him back with open arms.

“He’s still on the suspension list and that will be revisited in March by commissioner Goodell. We’re still waiting until he signs off on it,” Raiders general manager Reggie 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.”

Smith, a former first-round pick of the San Francisco 49ers, was about as dominating of a pass rusher as there was during his early years. The Missouri product recorded 42 sacks in his first 43 games, including a 19.5-sack performance for the 49ers back in 2012.

Since then, it’s been one thing after another off the field. Whether it was the multiple DUI arrests, being arrested for terrorist threats at the Los Angeles International Airport or this video of him allegedly smoking marijuana, Smith’s off-field conduct put him on notice with the NFL. It also led to him being released by the 49ers.

Smith is currently under contract with the Raiders for $2.8 million next season. Should he continue to do well in the drug program after checking himself into rehab, look for the former All Pro to return to the team in 2017.