OAKLAND (CBS SF) – NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said it was good to meet face-to-face with Aldon Smith, but would not disclose any timetable for troubled former NFL star’s return to the field with the Oakland Raiders.
Smith, who is serving a league-imposed substance abuse suspension, sat down with the commissioner and other league staff a few weeks ago to make his case to be allowed back on the field.
“It was good for us to be able to meet with Aldon, to hear from him directly,” Goodell told reporters Wednesday. “We are going through all the information to make sure we have it all.”
“We all understand he is in the process of trying to get his life in order enough to resume an NFL career.”
However, Goodell would not discuss any timetable for Smith’s return to the playing field this season.
Smith signed with Oakland in September 2015 and played nine games before being suspended for a second time by the NFL.
He also missed the first nine games of the 2014 season while serving an NFL suspension for violations of the league’s substance-abuse and personal-conduct policies. He missed time during the 2013 season to undergo treatment at an inpatient facility following his DUI arrest that September.
Smith also reportedly entered a treatment center this summer after video linked to his Periscope account showed possible marijuana use.
Despite his problems, the Raiders signed Smith to a two-year contract in April. They have been unable to have direct contact with him during the suspension but have kept tabs on him through his agent.
Smith had been a key part of Oakland’s defense last season, providing another pass rushing threat to go along with All-Pro Khalil Mack. Smith had just 3 1/2 sacks in nine games, but did provide 36 quarterback pressures, according to Pro Football Focus, and was stout against the run.
Despite adding free agent Bruce Irvin in the offseason to fill Smith’s role, Oakland (10-3) is tied for 23rd in the NFL with 22 sacks and is giving up a league-worst 6.2 yards per play.
Smith has been one of the league’s best pass rushers when available, with 47 1/2 sacks in 59 career games. But he has played just 16 games over the past three seasons.
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