Following the San Francisco 49ers 23-3 loss to the Baltimore Ravens, Matt Maiocco had some interesting news about Aldon Smith's potential suspension. Maiocco tweeted out that the team has not gotten final word from the league office, but they were "bracing" for a 6-8 games suspension.
Source: 49ers do not know verdict of potential NFL discipline for Aldon Smith, but they're bracing for 6 to 8 games.— Matt Maiocco (@MaioccoCSN) August 8, 2014
That is an intriguing choice of language. I see a difference between "bracing" and "expecting", in that the latter seems to indicate more knowledge of what might happen. The source could mean the same thing with either, so it is hard to tell for certain. At this point, Adam Schefter tweeted the word "significant", and we've also seen reports that 4 games seems more likely. Who really knows what is going on.
User grantmp made a good point as well about how this could be a way for the 49ers to show they're taking this seriously, and so in turn is a bit of posturing.
Aldon Smith's case is not the most clear-cut for Goodell to decide. He has the DUI and gun case, but he also has his prior Florida DUI, which he plead down to reckless driving. Oh, and there's the LAX incident. He was never charged with anything, but lack of charges is not really that big a deal for Goodell to bring down the hammer. If he is not sufficiently pleased with Aldon's remorse and actions, who knows what might happen. The NFL claims certain precedents impact punishment, but sometimes I have no clue what the reality of the situation is.
For now, we'll have to wait and see what this means for Aldon because everything is really up in the air. I don't know what to think given all the speculation floating out there. I'll probably stick with 4 games, which is what I've thought to date.