Report: Former All-Pro LB Aldon Smith applying for reinstatement

By Matt Johnson
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

More than four years after he last played in the league, former San Francisco 49ers linebacker Aldon Smith is reportedly in the process of applying for reinstatement to the NFL.

According to NFL Network’s Jim Trotter, the 30-year-old linebacker is trying to work his way back to the NFL after being suspended indefinitely for a serious of off-field issues.

The No. 7 overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, Smith made an immediate impact for the 49ers with 14 sacks in his rookie season. He took his game to another level in 2015, racking up 19.5 sacks and earning first-team All-Pro honors.

Smith started running into legal trouble the following season. He was arrested on suspicion of DUI in 2013 then entered himself into rehab. He played in 11 games that season, racking up 8.5 sacks.

After serving a nine-game suspension for violating the league’s substance-abuse policy in 2014, he saw limited snaps with the 49ers. Following his third DUI arrest and facing hit-and-run charges, the 49ers released him in 2015.

Smith signed with the Raiders in 2016 and recorded 3.5 sacks in nine games before being suspended one year for the hit-and-run in 2015. After being denied reinstatement and missing the 2016 and 2017 seasons, Smith was arrested and pled guilty to a domestic violence charge.

He was most recently arrested for DUI in June 2019, but has reportedly turned a massive corner in his life and has been sober for months.

It remains to be seen if Smith has a shot at being reinstated by the NFL, given his long history of legal troubles. Even if he is allowed to return, his four-year absence from the game will also deter some teams.