It was a busy day for former San Francisco 49ers outside linebacker Aldon Smith. He surprised us all by agreeing to terms on a one-year contract with the Oakland Raiders. Bill Williamson has reported the deal is worth up to $8 million with incentives. I'd imagine there are plenty of roster bonuses and statistical achievements. And for those wondering, no, the 49ers do not get any kind of comp pick, because they released Smith.
Smith is still waiting for word on if he can play on Sunday. The NFL said he could play for now, but they seemed to leave the door open for a change depending on what their investigation reveals. Ed Werder is reporting he looked good at practice on Friday. If he stayed in shape and the NFL gives him the go-ahead, I don't see any reason the Raiders would not at least have him out there in some pass rush packages. As a pure pass rusher, he's an absolute beast, so not having complete knowledge of the playbook is not the biggest issue. Just pin his ears back and have him run after the quarterback. Pretty simple.
This all comes the same day he was formally arraigned on three misdemeanors. Eric Branch listed them out as DUI with a prior conviction and a refusal to submit to a chemical test, hit and run with property damage, and vandalism under $400. His next court date is October 6, and he faces up to two years, six months in prison if convicted on all three. This does not factor in the fact that this would be a violation of his probation on the gun and DUI charges from last year.
As for a potential suspension? For now it would seem the NFL is waiting this one out, but this could change between now and Sunday. He had a nine-game suspension previously for a combination of personal conduct and substance abuse violations. I don't think a subsequent punishment would be entirely based on that. I don't know how the NFL will view the vandalism and misdemeanor hit-and-run as compared to the gun charges.
That is one of the issues with the personal conduct policy. The league has tried to bring clarity, but they have done a poor job. It leaves plenty of questions about punishment, which we are already seeing with the time it takes to figure out Bruce Miller and Ahmad Brooks's situations. They are all different circumstances, but they fall under a personal conduct policy that is not particularly easy to understand.