NFL: Raiders release Aldon Smith following latest brush with law
ALAMEDA, Calif. (AP) — The Oakland Raiders released pass rusher Aldon Smith on Monday after his latest run-in with the law.
The Raiders retained Smith’s contractual rights even as he spent the past two seasons on the NFL’s suspended list. But the team decided finally to cut ties one day after San Francisco police said authorities were searching for Smith in connection with a domestic violence allegation.
Sgt. Michael Andraychak said someone called 911 to report a domestic violence incident against Smith at about 8:30 p.m. Saturday. Smith fled the San Francisco home before officers arrived. Andraychak said the victim’s injuries were not life-threatening.
Smith has been on the suspended list since November 2015 for violating the NFL’s policy on substance abuse. The Raiders had signed Smith to a two-year contract before the 2016 season, but he never was cleared by the league to be able to return from suspension.
Smith was one of the league’s top pass rushers before off-field problems derailed his career. He set an NFL record with 33 1/2 sacks his first two seasons after being drafted in the first round by the San Francisco 49ers in 2011.
He helped the Niners make it to the NFC title game as a rookie and the Super Bowl the following year. But the off-field issues started mounting the following season when he missed five games to undergo treatment at an inpatient facility following a DUI arrest.
Smith was then suspended the first nine games in 2014 while serving an NFL suspension for violations of the league’s substance abuse and personal conduct policies. San Francisco then released him in August 2015 following his fifth run-in with the law regarding another drunken driving arrest.
He signed with Oakland just before the start of the 2015 season and had 3 1/2 sacks in nine games before being suspended again for at least one year.
Smith applied for reinstatement to the NFL in 2016, but that decision was initially deferred until the offseason and he never was granted reinstatement.
Smith has played 59 games over five seasons in the NFL with 47 1/2 sacks and one first-team All-Pro honor in 2012.