What does potential Jim Irsay suspension mean for potential Aldon Smith suspension?

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

According to Pro Football Talk, ESPN's Adam Schefter is reporting people around the league believe Jim Irsay will get a 6-8 game suspension and a fine of $1 million as punishment for his March arrest. Irsay was charged with two misdemeanors, including one count of operating a vehicle while intoxicated, and one count of operating a vehicle with a schedule I or II controlled substance or its metabolite in the body. Prosecutors indicated the substances were oxycodone and/or hydrocodone.

The NFL has a personal conduct policy, a substance abuse policy, and a performance enhancing drug policy. All indications are that Irsay would be punished under the personal conduct policy, as the substance abuse policy would appear to apply strictly to players.

I bring this up because San Francisco 49ers outside linebacker Aldon Smith faces his own potential punishment from the NFL. Aldon pled no contest to a variety of charges, including two misdemeanor DUI charges, and three felony weapons possession charges. His sentencing hearing is scheduled for July 25, at which time he faces anywhere from no jail time to 4 1/2 years in jail.

Aldon's situation is not the same as Jim Irsay's in terms of charges, but there is some belief that Irsay got off a bit light on his charges. Whatever the case, punishment for Smith will likely not be known until after the sentencing hearing. Although Smith pled no contest to the felonies, they are wobblers, which means the judge could decide to change them from felonies to misdemeanors. We don't know, but as socalisteph pointed out, some kind of deal seems possible, in spite of protestations by the DA to the contrary. We don't know what the judge has decided, as there could be all sorts of things in motion at this point.

Roger Goodell has said he would factor in Aldon Smith's stay in rehab when considering a suspension. Smith was on the NFI list for five games last season, although reports indicated he received full pay during that time. I could see this potentially resulting in a shorter suspension, and then a fine as well. The 49ers have the depth to handle a suspension, but obviously I think most of us would prefer the suspension be on the shorter side of things. But if it goes to help Aldon realize he needs to stay focused on the straight and narrow, that's fine by me.

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