Less than two days after a warrant for his arrest was released to the public, Seahawks defensive end Aldon Smith surrendered to authorities in Louisiana.
According to TMZ Sports, Smith turned himself in on Tuesday night and was booked for second degree battery charges. Per the St. Bernard Parish Sheriff's Office, he was then released on $25,000 bond and has been scheduled for arraignment on July 14.
The incident in question happened two days after Smith visited the Seahawks at their team facility in Renton and signed a new one-year contract. Deputies responded to a call seeking medical assistance around 7:30 PM and upon arrival, the bulletin from the Criminal Investigations Bureau said, “they came into contact with a male victim who said he was assaulted by an acquaintance of his” outside of a coffee shop in Chalmette. They promptly identified Smith as the prime suspect.
As reported by ESPN, Smith allegedly "choked a victim unconscious" and according to WDSU-TV, the sheriff's office has video evidence and the station quoted Sheriff James Pohlmann as saying Smith caused "severe injuries" during the incident.
Hours after the bulletin was posted on social media on Monday, the Seahawks released a statement indicating they were looking into the incident and working to obtain additional information. They have not made any other statements since.
“We are aware of the reports regarding Aldon Smith. Aldon notified us and we are gathering more information," the statement read. "We have no further comment at this time.”
Details in regard to Smith's contract were revealed on Tuesday. He signed a veteran's minimum deal with Seattle worth a total of $1.275 million with a $990,000 base salary for 2021. There is a small dead cap hit of $137,500 if he is eventually released by the team.
Since entering the NFL as a first-round pick with the 49ers, Smith has been in constant trouble with the law and received multiple suspensions from the league. Most notably, he sat out four consecutive seasons from 2016 to 2019 for a variety of offenses, including a hit-and-run incident as well as a domestic violence arrest and substance abuse-related issues. He applied for reinstatement several times, only for the league to choose to keep him on the suspended list.
With his life seemingly turned around, however, Smith did triumphantly return from the four-year hiatus to start all 16 games for the Cowboys during one of the most improbable comebacks in NFL history last season. He finished with 5.0 sacks and 50 quarterback pressures, proving he could still rush the passer at a quality level despite the long layoff. The Seahawks reportedly attempted to trade for him before the deadline, but a deal never came to fruition.
The Seahawks officially started Phase One of their offseason program earlier this week, which includes virtual meetings and strength/conditioning programs. Players recently released a statement through the NFLPA that they will not be partaking in voluntary on-field workouts due to health concerns from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Once players do return to the field, which could potentially be later this spring for mandatory mini camps or in July for the start of training camp, it remains to be seen whether Smith will be involved as additional details about his latest arrest emerge and Seattle continues to monitor the situation.