Raiders linebacker Aldon Smith
Aldon Smith's first season in Silver and Black ended Tuesday.
After appearing in the first nine games of the 2015 season for the Raiders, making seven starts, Smith was suspended without pay for a calendar year by the league Tuesday for violating the NFL substance abuse policy.
The suspension is an ill-timed one for the former First-Team All-Pro, as he had been rounding into form as of late for the Silver and Black, securing sacks in back-to-back games the past two weeks, and providing the type of complementary pass rusher to Khalil Mack that General Manager Reggie McKenzie envisioned when he signed him in September.
"First, I want to thank the Raiders, my teammates, the fans, our coaches and our owner for supporting me throughout all of this," Smith said in a statement issued Tuesday night. "I am taking this time to work on myself and become the man I need to be, my team and organization needs me to be, and I know I can be."
As much of a blow as Smith's suspension is to the Raiders defensive line, it can't necessarily come as a shock, as there was a feeling that discipline from the league could come down at some point during the regular season.
All in all, in just over two months in Silver and Black, Smith tallied 29 total tackles, 3.5 sacks and 3 passes defensed, and proved to be a valuable asset for the Raiders defense.
"Aldon has been a positive addition to the Raiders," the team said in their own statement. "He remains prominently in our long term plans and we will continue to support this member of our family as he gets the help that he needs."