Aldon Smith hasn’t played an NFL game since 2015. He may get his chance this fall.
The 30-year old defensive end has had repeated substance abuse and legal issues throughout his career. He was suspended for one year following an August, 2015 hit-and-run, but failed to land reinstatement in 2016 or 2017. He had a domestic violence incident in 2018, for which he was arrested.
Now, after missing over four NFL seasons, Aldon Smith has been reinstated. According to Adam Schefter, Roger Goodell made the decision after a video conference with the former San Francisco 49ers star. He recently signed with the Dallas Cowboys, and will be able to participate in their virtual off-season programs, per the report.
The Cowboys added Smith after he met with new head coach Mike McCarthy in Los Angeles. Both were working out with Jay Glazer, and the relationship took off from there. Smith hopes to relaunch what was one of the NFL’s most promising careers.
Cowboys’ pass rusher Aldon Smith was conditionally reinstated by the NFL today, per source. He now is cleared to take part in Cowboys’ virtual off-season program.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) May 20, 2020
Smith was the No. 7 overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft out of Missouri.
He was a Pro Bowler and first-team All-Pro for the 49ers in just his second NFL season. From there, his personal issues quickly derailed his career. Even before he was out of the league, he played in just 27 of 48 possible games from 2013-15.
In his first two seasons, Smith recorded 33.5 sacks, a record for an NFL player in his first two seasons. He holds a 49ers record with his 19.5 sacks in 2012.
The Cowboys have been stocking up on pass rushers all offseason. If Smith is anything close to the player that starred for the Niners, it could be a game changer.