Raiders linebacker Aldon Smith will have to wait until next year to have his reinstatement case resolved.
Pro Football Talk first reported that Smith’s case will be revisited March 15, 2017. He was permanently suspended from the NFL in November 2015, with a one-year period before he could be reinstated. He applied for reinstatement in October, and will have his potential return deferred as the commissioner waits to make a ruling.
The Raiders have clinched a playoff spot, but will not have the former All-Pro linebacker as a defensive reinforcement. Smith has been arrested numerous times since 2012, as a member of the 49ers. His persistent off-court troubles led to his banishment from the game.
“Obviously it’s not my job to make a ruling, but from everything I’ve gathered, he’s done his duty to take care of all the things he needs to take care of,” head coach Jack Del Rio told reporters Friday, according to the Mercury News. “I see some of the guys that have been allowed back and my question is, what’s the difference? When a guy has a chance, he should have a chance to make a living. I don’t really agree with what’s gone down, but it’s not my job. We’ll move on as a team. That’s what we have to do, but I’m a little disappointed.”
Smith was a first-team All-Pro player in 2015, recording 19 1/2 sacks for 49ers. He has played just 27 of a possible 58 games since then due to his off-field issues.