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Aldon Smith to meet with Roger Goodell 'soon'

Bill Williamson is reporting Aldon Smith will meet with the commissioner "soon", potentially as early as next week. That will move the discipline process along.

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

ESPN's Bill Williamson is reporting that an NFL source indicated San Francisco 49ers outside linebacker Aldon Smith will meet with Roger Goodell sometime soon to discuss his future. Williamson indicated the meeting could happen sometime next week, but an exact date has not been set. Goodell usually has a sit-down with a player before imposing discipline.

The timeline of discipline is always a hazy one. Goodell has a few situations to deal with, including Smith, Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice, and Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay. Yahoo!'s Rand Getlin is reporting Rice could be looking at no more than a 2-game suspension for assaulting his then-girlfriend. There has not been a single word on Irsay's situation following his arrest for DUI and drug possession.

Rumors have the 49ers expecting Aldon Smith to face a 4-6 game suspension. My guess is it ends up at around four games, but who knows how the commish will come down on this. The personal conduct discipline process is always a little confusing because there does not seem to be a set schedule of punishment. Ben Roethlisberger got six games after a pair of sexual assault allegations. On the other hand, Jimmy Haslam apparently will escape punishment even though his company is paying a $90 million fine to the government for fraudulent business practices. Irsay's situation will be one to watch to see if there truly is a double standard when it comes to owners vs. players.

For now, we sit and wait to see what kind of discipline Aldon Smith receives. The 49ers have the depth to get by in his absence, but it would be nice to have some concrete information in order to better prepare for that absence.