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San Francisco 49ers linebacker Aldon Smith suspended for 9 games

 Outside linebacker Aldon Smith #99 of the San Francisco 49ers sits on the bench during a preseason game against the Denver Broncos at Levi's Stadium on August 17, 2014 in Santa Clara, California.
Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

The NFL handed down another long suspension on Friday. Aldon Smith of the San Francisco 49ers will be sitting out the first nine games of the 2014 season. This comes as an expected but still harmful blow to the 49ers team. According to CBS Sports on Friday, Aldon Smith's suspension comes after a violation of the substance abuse policy as well as the personal conduct policy.

Aldon Smith won't be able to return to his team until November 10. A long suspension was expected by the San Francisco 49er team. General manager Trent Baalke said in a statement, "Our organization has known this decision would come and we have prepared for it. 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.

The NFL's punishment for Smith might seem harsh but after several legal issues over a very short period in 2014, it was certainly expected. Aldon Smith's nine game suspension comes after pleading no contest to a slew of charges in May. This included three felony charges and three misdemeanor charges involving a DUI and some assault weapons stemming back to a DUI arrest in September 2013. He ended up serving 12 days in jail.

Soon after the DUI arrest, Aldon Smith again made headlines after an altercation in the Los Angeles International Airport in April. Smith was again arrested after making a bomb threat. No charges were made against Smith for the airport incident.

Aldon Smith's absence from the 49ers team means that their two top linebackers won't be around for the first six weeks. Their other top linebacker, NaVorro Bowman, was placed on the injured reserve list last week. He is still recovering from a torn ACL that he suffered in the NFC Championship game against the Seahawks in January.

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