The NFL announced today that they have suspended Aldon Smith for the first nine games of the 2014 season. He will be eligible to return on Monday, November 10, one day after the 49ers play the New Orleans Saints in Week 10.
"Aldon Smith of the San Francisco 49ers has been suspended without pay for the first nine games of the 2014 regular season for violating the NFL Policy and Program for Substances of Abuse and the league's Personal Conduct Policy," the league said in a statement.
"Smith will be eligible to return to the 49ers' active roster on Monday, November 10 following the team's November 9 game against the New Orleans Saints."
Smith has been involved with several legal troubles off the field in the last two years. He was involved in a house part incident in June 2012. He also pleaded a “no contest” to DUI charges last month. Smith was sentenced to serve 11 days on a work crew for his issues.
This is also discipline he faced under the NFL’s personal conduct policy for possession of illegal assault rifles under California law. The initial felony charge was reduced to misdemeanors by a judge.
General manager Trent Baalke released the following statement on the suspension:
"Our organization has known this decision would come and we have prepared for it as a team. Aldon has taken responsibility for his actions and has continued to show growth personally and professionally. We will continue to support him, but it is time to put this matter behind us and focus on the season ahead.”
Smith spent six weeks in rehab during the 2013 season after being arrested for a DUI right before Week 3's game against the Indianapolis Colts. Not only did he suit up for the game in Week 3, but he played in almost every snap. He later re-joined the team in Week 10 after missing five games.
Goodell sent a letter to all 32 owners on Thursday that promised the NFL will be take a firm stance on domestic violence and sexual assault. He also talked about his thoughts on DUIs and weapons.
“In addition to focusing on domestic violence and sexual assault, we will continue to maintain strong policies regarding weapons offenses," Goodell wrote in the letter. "We are similarly working to strengthen our response to impaired driving,”
“We have sought, unsuccessfully, for several years to obtain the NFLPA’s agreement to more stringent discipline for DUI, including mandatory deactivation for the game immediately following an arrest and a minimum two-game suspension for a first violation of law. We will continue to press our position on this issue in the hope of securing the union’s agreement.”
Smith was also involved in an incident back in April after not cooperating with the security at a terminal at LAX. He allegedly made a false bomb threat while being hostile towards TSA agents.
Behind Ahmad Brooks, the 49ers depth chart at OLB will consistent of Corey Lemonier, Dan Skuta and Aaron Lynch where all three players will be in a rotation.
Last May, the 49ers picked up the fifth-year option on Smith’s contract which would have him signed through 2015. Smith is expected to make $9.75 million in base salary for the 2015 season. His first game is scheduled to be against the New York Giants in Week 11 on November 16.