Aldon Smith and the Oakland Raiders agreed on a one-year deal worth up to $8 million on Friday, but Peter King of MMQB thinks the dynamic pass-rusher may not even see the field in 2015. He also thinks the Raiders know this and are hedging their bets for 2016.
Smith has yet to be disciplined by the NFL for his latest arrest, which occurred on Aug. 6.
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell may feel inclined to push the petal to the metal responding to Oakland’s deal, however, because if he doesn’t, then the Raiders could have Smith playing this upcoming Sunday when they take on the Cincinnati Bengals, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
Smith missed nine games in 2014 after being suspended for previous infractions, and King thinks Goodell could come down hard on the 26-year old this time around.
“I don’t think he’s going to be on the field this year at all,” King said. “I think one of the things that you’re seeing with him right now is—to me, I can’t imagine any way that he’s going to be on the field this year, because I think he’s going to be suspended for the year, anyway. And so to me, when I look at this signing, I say it’s the Raiders hedging their bets for 2016 and beyond. And I’ll just say this: To me I think the 49ers have been really good, really understanding and really helpful to Aldon Smith. I was really rooting for them to be able to sign him for 2016 and beyond, but now it looks like he’ll be Raiders’ property.”
Smith was officially hit with three misdemeanor charges on Friday, just hours after he was signed by Oakland. He’s being indicted on DUI (with previous conviction and refusal to take a chemical test), hit-and-run and vandalism charges. If convicted on all three counts, and if the judge decides on consecutive sentences, then Smith could face up to two-and-a-half years in jail.
Oakland obviously knows this, but given the rare talent Smith possesses the Raiders appear to be going all-in on the former 49ers star, despite his personal issues. Whether or not this will end well for Smith? That’s another story, and it’s one that likely doesn’t have a happy ending.