All-Pro Defensive End Aldon Smith officially has been reinstated by the National Football League.
The veteran pass rusher has signed a one-year deal, reportedly worth $4 million, with the Dallas Cowboys. He is now eligible to take part in offseason activities for the Cowboys team.
It marks Smith’s return to the league after a four-year absence following the last playing in 2015 with the Oakland Raiders.
Smith has been serving multiple suspensions since 2015 under both the NFL substance-abuse policy and the Personal Conduct Policy.
His off-field problems vary from an alleged hit-and-run to felony charges of illegal possession of an assault weapon to suspected domestic abuse claiming he had a bomb at an airport to an arrest for “forcibly assault” and “false imprisonment” against a vandalism DUI.
Jerry Jones’ Cowboys elect to give Smith a controversial second opportunity.
In his first two seasons, Smith was a former first-round NFL Draft pick from Missouri, with a total of 33.5 sacks, the most in league history for a player in his first two seasons. He was one of the league’s most exciting pass rushers before his suspensions seized the headlines.
At the defensive end, the Cowboys have a need and the league clearance allows Smith to help fill the void. Other defensive options are Randy Gregory, who is also awaiting reinstatement, Tyrone Crawford, who is rehabilitating from double-hip surgery and rookie Bradlee Anae, the fifth-round selection from Utah by Dallas.
Jay Glazer, the reporter/trainer who had much involvement in the return of the long disturbing star, gave a rave review of Smith’s physical and mental condition.
We are going on now for nine months (of sobriety) and he didn’t miss a single session, Glazer said. “Not one in nine months! He has shown accountability to the whole group. He’s been talking about his sobriety.
It’s not the easiest thing in the world to open up to 80 to 100 total strangers in a group setting, but many of our vets are also struggling with sobriety issues, and Smith was extremely vulnerable and open to that.