Aldon Smith is either coming back to the Raiders soon or never will

The other day, troubled Oakland Raiders linebacker Aldon Smith reportedly did an Instagram live video in which he claimed he would be reinstated to the NFL “soon.” Not surprisingly, many Raiders fans got excited at the prospect of adding Smith to a defense that was last in the league in sacks last year. But is the excitement justified or is this yet another sign that Smith may never come back?

On April 15, 2017, troubled Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Martavius Bryant sent out a SnapChat (Snapchatted? Snapped? I still don’t get that app) showing he was in NYC and saying it was a big day. Turns out, he was meeting with the NFL brass about being reinstated. Fast forward 11 days later and news broke that he was indeed being reinstated.

So, perhaps in 11 days from Aldon Smith’s Instagram video we will get news that Smith is being reinstated. The problem is, his timeline isn’t nearly as clean as Bryant’s. After he was suspended, we didn’t really hear much about Bryant until getting reinstated. The same cannot be said about Smith.

Let’s go back to December 9, 2016 when Aldon Smith had his meeting with NFL officials in an attempt to prove he was ready to be reinstated. Unlike with Bryant, good news did not follow. But one has to wonder if Aldon had been more patient whether good news would have come. It took 11 days for the NFL to reinstate Bryant after his meeting with the NFL brass. But six days after the meeting, Aldon Smith’s trainer took to social media calling the NFL unprofessional for how they were handling Smith.

That kind of publicity is clearly not what the NFL is hoping for if they decide to reinstate Smith and while it’s uncertain whether this hurt Smith’s chances, it certainly didn’t help them.

By the end of December, the NFL decided not to reinstate Smith and to revisit the issue in March.

But once again, before the NFL could revisit the case, Aldon Smith found himself in the news again and again, not for good reasons. Smith was detained by police for public intoxication and was held while he could sober up. This occurred after a car that Smith was in got in an accident. When Smith was released, he was interviewed by reporters and appeared as though he may still have been intoxicated.

That was on March 9, 2021 and since then we have not heard anything from the NFL on Smith.

But since then, the NFL has reinstated Martavius Bryant and Daryl Washington, two other players who like Aldon were kicked out of the league with the opportunity to apply for reinstatement.

So maybe Smith is right and the Raiders will get good news soon. Or maybe the video was completely untrue and Goodell hasn’t made a decision yet. If so, I would see the video as a bigger sign that Smith won’t ever be back than that he will be back soon. It’s hard for me to believe him given what we’ve seen from him in his short time with the Raiders. Hopefully he is right but I get the feeling this was him trying to force the issue and that it won’t go well for him.

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