Will Aldon Smith Seize His New Opportunity?


On Friday, the Oakland Raiders made a bold move by signing Aldon Smith to a one-year contract. To make this seem even crazier, Smith was charged with three misdemeanors on the same day. When Smith was actually on the field, he proved he could play defense at an all-pro level. However, there is one highly important question in regards to his new deal with the Raiders. Will he actually be able to play for Oakland?

Obviously, the whole point of signing a player is that the team expects him to contribute in positive ways. The fact that the Raiders signed Smith this close to the regular season means they are desperate for more pass rushers.

Did the Raiders not know that Smith would be charged as a result of his arrest on August 7th? Perhaps Mark Davis and the rest of the organization is confident that Aldon Smith won’t lose playing time despite the legal circumstances. That seems like risky business to me.

This is an era of the NFL in which top league executives order suspensions as if they were giving out traffic tickets. Plus, Aldon Smith already missed nine games last season due to previous legal troubles. There is clearly a huge chance that Smith will be suspended by the league due to his current misdemeanor charges.

Oddly enough, Smith appeared at his first practice with the Oakland Raiders yesterday. Despite his known trouble with the law, Smith could grow into a leader on his new team. They’ve given him a great opportunity, and Smith better not mess up again. The Raiders should release him if another legal incident occurs during his tenure with the Raiders. However, Smith could surprise us and finally grow into a mature person and player.

He certainly will have some of the best support from the Raiders. Jack Del Rio, Khalil Mack, Justin Tuck, and Charles Woodson will definitely provide a positive environment that could allow Smith to succeed.

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Let’s go back to Mack for a moment. The new combination of Aldon Smith and Khalil Mack could turn into one of the most vicious and electrifying defensive pairs that the NFL has ever seen. While he was a member of the San Francisco 49ers, Smith displayed the productivity of a dominant defender. A number of things need to occur in order for this dream to become a reality.

If Smith doesn’t get suspended, then we could see him make instant contributions. The Oakland Raiders gave Aldon Smith an opportunity to show his value in the NFL, and he better do everything he can to prove himself as a reliable player and teammate.

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