It's becoming an all too familiar story for Aldon Smith and trouble, as once again, he has been suspended by the NFL.
The Oakland Raiders pass rusher has been suspended for a full year after it was found he had violated the NFL Policy and Program for Substances of Abuse.
Smith did sign a one-year contract with the Raiders back in September this year, but he will now be an unrestricted free agent in 2016 according to NFL.com. He has to apply reinstatement to the league if he wants to play in the NFL again, and that can be done from around mid-November next year.
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The linebacker said in a statement yesterday: "First, I want to thank the Raiders, my teammates, the fans, our coaches and our owner for supporting me throughout all of this.
"I am taking this time to work on myself and become the man I need to be, my team and organization needs me to be, and I know I can be. I had lost my love for the game and it led me to some poor choices, but I am thankful to the Raider organization for believing in me this season and will continue to better myself and grow from my experiences. I look forward to rejoining the team next year."
Many Raiders fans on social media have shown their support for Smith and spoke of their hopes that he returns to the franchise in the future once his suspension is over. However, some people have questioned the state of the NFL when it comes to these type of situations and have suggested ideas behind giving committing players support.
The statement released by the Raiders, which said they still have Smith in their long-term plans, could suggest he will remain at the AFC West franchise once his suspension is over. Interest will be high however in the pass rusher as he has played well for the Raider Nation since joining, returning close to his former form during his playing days with the San Francisco 49ers.
He and Khalil Mack have combined for 62 hurries, nine sacks, and eight quarterback hits this season, becoming one of the most effective pass rusher duos in the league. That will truly be missed by the Raiders as they aim for a playoff spot this season, and it will be something they look to hold on to if Smith is reinstated next year.
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