It's time to start questioning whether or not Roger Goodell has been handling Aldon Smith's potential suspension well. Already in some proverbial hot water based upon recent suspensions, Goodell has not been making a lot of friends in the San Francisco community by delaying the announcement of Smith's potential suspensions for so long. As a consequence, it is becoming increasingly fair to wonder if Goodell has handled this situation with the utmost care and responsibility.
Before delving too much further into this argument, I think it important to say that we should always be willing to change our minds with more evidence. Should it become apparent that the Smith camp or even the 49ers have had a hand in delaying the announcement of the decision (I'm not sure how that might happen, though David floated the attractive idea of some sort of negotiation occurring between certain parties behind closed doors), then we need to revisit this opinion. But, given what we've seen recently, especially in respect to the Ray Rice controversy, it doesn't seem outrageous to think that Goodell might be delaying the announcement in an attempt to generate the best press for himself and the NFL.
And, if that's the case, then this is mighty irresponsible. I'm not sure if you all are aware, but the 49ers play their last preseason game tonight. I really hope that Goodell is aware of this, especially since the preseason is an important time for coaching staffs to give players an appropriate amount of playing time consummate with their team's needs. How can the 49ers' staff, however, know how much time to give to Smith or his potential backups if they don't know for how long Smith will be missing games? The same question applies for the quality of the competition that Smith and the backups might face. By knowing Smith's applicability for the regular season, the defensive staff has a key piece of information that might help them make smarter decisions in the preseason.
As David noted in the article I linked above, the delayed announcement could have potential roster implications for the 49ers; implications that could put them at an unfair disadvantage. It seems to me that there are other implications as well, and Goodell has seemingly perpetuated this problem.