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Aldon Smith suspended 1 year for violating NFL substance abuse policy

Aldon Smith has been arrested five times since 2012.

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Oakland Raiders outside linebacker Aldon Smith has been suspended for one year for violating the league's substance abuse policy after being arrested this past summer, according to Fox Sports' Mike Garafolo. Smith was arrested on Aug. 6 in Santa Clara for driving under the influence, hit and run and vandalism. Smith served a nine-game suspension in 2014 for his multiple off-field incidents from 2013-14, including a DUI arrest.

The Raiders released a statement saying that they will support Smith during his suspension.

Aldon has been a positive addition to the Raiders. He remains prominently in our long term plans and we will continue to support this member of our family as he gets the help that he needs.

Smith released a statement of his own, vowing to improve himself and rejoin the team next year.

First, I want to thank the Raiders, my teammates, the fans, our coaches and our owner for supporting me throughout all of this.

I am taking this time to work on myself and become the man I need to be, my team and organization needs me to be, and I know I can be.

I had lost my love for the game and it led me to some poor choices, but I am thankful to the Raider organization for believing in me this season and will continue to better myself and grow from my experiences. I look forward to rejoining the team next year.

Smith was suspended last season for a violation of the substance abuse policy (four games) and violations of the personal conduct policy (five games). The latter is due to the fact that he had multiple incidents, including weapons charges, and a fake bomb threat at an airport, for which he was not charged.

Smith was released by the San Francisco 49ers promptly after his arrest in August. He signed with the Oakland Raiders in September, and has recorded 3.5 sacks in nine games this season.

The arrest stacked on top of all of those as far as the NFL was concerned, which is why Smith was suspended for as long as he was. It's unfortunate for Smith, who voluntarily checked himself into a rehab facility in 2013 and by all accounts was once again doing quite well in training camp, with the support of his teammates and coaches. Smith has been arrested five times since 2012.

Smith put up 152 tackles, 44.0 sacks, five forced fumbles and an interception in four seasons with the 49ers. That includes a monster 2012 season, when he played all 16 games and managed 19.5 sacks. He's the fastest player in NFL history to record 30 sacks (27 games) and has the NFL record for most sacks in his first two seasons (33.5).


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