by Dennis O'DonnellBy Dennis O'Donnell

SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX) — The NFL should reinstate Aldon Smith.

No more investigations, no more suspensions. We all know what this is about. Smith is a troubled man who makes poor decisions that have put his career in jeopardy. I can’t debate the obvious.

ALSO READ: Suspended Raider Aldon Smith Detained After Crash

But if you quit on Aldon the football players, you quit on Aldon the person.

He doesn’t need to be kicked out, he needs to be helped out. Aldon Smith needs structure. He needs role models.

He needs to be held accountable for being to a place on time, any day, every day. He needs Jack Del Rio, Derek Carr and Bruce Irvin. He needs to go from practice to AA and be surrounded by those who will change his life, because he can’t go it alone.

I might be an outsider looking in, but I’ve there. I know. If I’d quit on a close family member, he’d likely be dead by now. He needed a lot of chances to get it right but he did.

I’ve never understood the NFL’s policy of substance abuse suspensions. When rich, immature men are sent on hiatus, they’re going to hang out with Davy, who’s still in the Navy, and the waitress practicing politics.

Why not allow a player to remain with the team, fine him substantially and use that money for substance-abuse programs?

It’s easy to ridicule Aldon Smith. It’s easy to say, “Enough is enough.” Personally, I don’t care if he ever sacks another quarterback. That’s not what this is about.

I don’t know if Aldon would succeed given another chance.

But we can all pretty much guarantee what will happen if he doesn’t get one.

Dennis O'Donnell