Congratulations Aldon Smith. You were the recipient of Rodger Goodell‘s mission of re-writing the wrong the league made in the whole Ray Rice debacle.
I mean seriously, did any NFL player want to be meeting with Goodell after he admitted to the world that the NFL should had been tougher on Rice and was going to crack down not only on players who are involved in domestic violence, but on overall conduct all over the league? I would not want to be that guy.
Unfortunately for Smith, he was that guy.
Just a day after Goodell promised stiffer punishment for players caught up in domestic violence, the NFL’s front office lowered the boom on Smith. The All-Pro defensive lineman for the San Francisco 49ers was hit with a nine game suspension for violating the league’s personal conduct policy and substance abuse policy.
In one respect, Smith’s punishment was just what he deserved. Any player who uses banned substances and can find to time to smear the league’s name by creating a scene in an airport should be banned from the game for a while.
But on the other hand, the league just slapped Cleveland Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon with a year-long suspension for committing the same crimes. So is it fair that Smith still has a chance to play late in the season while Gordon will be sitting on the couch? The league still has to be more consistent on its fines and suspensions.
But other than that, the league made the right move today. Its not like the 49ers are going to be hurt. San Francisco still has the talent to compete for the NFC West crown. But Smith will be missed, and maybe this suspension will teach him how better to conduct himself in the offseason.