NFL suspends Aldon Smith 9 games without pay

The NFL just announced that they have suspended Aldon Smith for the first nine games of the upcoming regular season.

Here is the NFL’s official statement:

“Aldon Smith of the San Francisco 49ers has been suspended without pay for the first nine games of the 2014 regular season for violating the NFL Policy and Program for Substances of Abuse and the league’s Personal Conduct Policy.

Smith will be eligible to return to the 49ers’ active roster on Monday, November 10 following the team’s November 9 game against the New Orleans Saints.”

Here is a written statement from Trent Baalke:

“Our organization has known this decision would come and we have prepared for it as a team. Aldon has taken responsibility for his actions and has continued to show growth personally and professionally. We will continue to support him, but it is time to put this matter behind us and focus on the season ahead.”

This article has 385 Comments

  1. More evidence that this commissioner is the worst and needs to be expunged from office. When trying to understand Goodell’s train of thought that this will encourage players to proactively seek help, because the NFL does not desire to punish, leaves the mind stranded at Cranium Station…..

    1. Nine plus five voluntary last year. Fourteen games seems “fair” comparing it to two games for Rice!! Irsay will likely get a 3 drink limit per quarter for his DUI.

    1. Looks like the appeal process has already been heard and concluded according to the NFL. Not sure if that means they have concluded the appeal hearing and will announce results later or if this is the punishment after the appeal was heard and weighed.

  2. Fresh legs and nice and healthy for both Seahawk games. Guessing he gets no credit for last years games he missed while in treatment.

    Today feels like the commissioner came down extra hard because he looked so weak against Rice.

    1. This “next man up” crap is crap! Players have different skill levels and abilities. There is only ONE Aldon Smith on the niners!

      1. One player doesn’t make a team. We were fine when he was out of the lineup last season and we’ll be fine this time too.

        1. The Niners faced bad offenses during that five game stretch. The Cardinals’ offense was much better the second half of the season and now they have Veldheer. They had Sowell at LT last season.

          1. True. But the Niners is fielding a better offense this yr, too. Healthy Crab, looks like an improve McDonald, and more weapons (Johnson, Loyd, Ellington and who ever makes the team). The offense will definitely have to be better while Aldon and Bowman are out.

            1. The foundation of the offense — the run blocking — seems to have taken a step back at center and right guard. We’ll see how long it takes Anthony Davis to get back to his typical level of play.

              1. Back when Davis was playing for a contract, and working out all offseason, he was able to avoid the extra weight. We’ll see if he can continue that trend.

            2. Improved offense in certain areas……However Kapernick has yet to show improved accuracy and field vision—–and body throwing mechanics….IMO

          2. 3 of the 5 left tackles the 49ers faced while Smith was out last year finished ranked in the top half of the league.

  3. The problem is that Smith kept getting into some kind trouble again and again which is why this harsh of a penalty came down whereas Rice didn’t have as many transgressions under his belt. I’m not saying that’s right because I believe Rice should’ve been suspended the entire season, but I would almost bet on it that the repeated incidences played a huge role here.

  4. Roger Goodell is a joke. The man has twin daughters and has failed them. Beating a woman to the ground leads to a 2 game suspension. It begs the question, “Does Goodell beat his wife and two daughters?”

    And what about the 5 games? Are we to believe that Aldon’s suspension would have been 14 games or longer had he not taken proactive steps to remedy the situation?

    One thing is clear, if Aldon is able to keep his head together through this farce: He will be an unstoppable force from Week 10 to Week 20, during which time all the OLs he faces will be feeling the fatigue from Weeks 1-9.

  5. 1. I guess it’s much better just to beat someone up in the NFL world; See Ray Rice.
    2. Agree with you Razor regarding the Comish. He tends to see the players as the enemy, who need to be controlled.
    3. Can this be reduced like with Roethlisberger?

  6. Roger Godell has lost his mind. 9 games? So basically its a 14 game suspension because of last years 5. Im shocked it was this many games.

  7. I guess he thought he screwed up with Rice so he had to make a example out of Aldon Smith. I would of gone between 3 to 6 games but there is no logic in any of this.

  8. Re Cam Inman Mercury News

    “As for perhaps a lighter punishment through an appeal, NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said in an email: “The appeal process is concluded. We are not expanding on the statement we issued.””

  9. Wow… couldn’t just go with an even 8….had to make himself look tough and add that extra 1.

    As if we couldn’t have used him against the Saints.

    Sad day

    1. Completely agree. Can’t be even eight. He saw we had the Saints week 10 so to screw the 49ers and Jim Harbaugh he decided to suspend him for that too! What a freaking joke!!!!

  10. Four games for violating personal conduct and five games for violating the substance abuse policies. Smith will still be allowed around the facility, his teammates, and participate in football activities.

  11. NFL Live reporting:
    4 games for substance abuse policy
    5 games for personal conduct policy
    NFLPA negotiated Aldon’s right to hang around the team and facility. Unprecedented, but very much needed by this player. Doesn’t change anything but helps avoid future problems.

  12. This is pretty outrageous. Is this an arbitrary decision or is there an official code of conduct that have been agreed to by the players assoc?

    Smoking doobie = full year
    DUI = 9 games
    Beating up wife = 2 games


    1. Gordon’s suspension is a result of him constantly violating the same substance abuse policy plus getting arrested for speeding and then a D.U.I. while he was appealing so his suspension is just in my opinion, but it’s obvious with his comments after the suspension that he still doesn’t get it.
      Smith was suspended for violating personal conduct plus substance abuse policy so saying that he was suspended for just a D.U.I. isn’t exactly correct.
      Goodell admitted (albeit too late) that he should’ve given Rice a harsher ban even though he didn’t have may off-the-field transgressions.

      1. I get that gordon and AS have had past transgressions , but my main point is is there an official code of conduct which is transparent or is it subjective to RG’s discretion.

        BTW, there is pretty compelling evidence that Gordon was not guilty in this most recent alleged offense.

            1. His latest offense was a D.U.I. which came shortly after being caught speeding, both of which came after him violating the substance abuse policy for a third straight time.
              If there was such compelling evidence Rollo, then Gordon’s suspension would have been overturned.

      2. Thats the problem you suspend a guy 14 games for 1 violation of the substance abuse 9 plus 5 from last year and was said to be considerd in all this but a guy that violated the substance abuse multiple times and arrested multiple times for the same thing gets 16 weeks only 2 moore ??? Thats trash regardless he got the crap end of the deal stemming from the ray rice thing and EVERYBODY KNOWS IT!!! Bottom line this was #OverKill

  13. The NFL Commissioner can do 2 things to correct his poor track record and create consistency: amend Rice’s suspension to 1 year and suspend Jim Irsay for 1 year. Anything short of that shows Goodell to be corrupt.

  14. NFL is such a joke. So taking into account the rehab time, which Goodell said he would, that means he received a 14 game suspension. And if Ed Werder is correct 9 games for a DUI. I wonder what Irsay gets….

  15. I’ve been reading comments all over social media and the haters (specifically Seahawks and Raider fans) are coming out of the woodwork, saying our season is over before it’s even started…the Seachicken fans have already said they might as well engrave the Lombardi for them right now

  16. Hooey:
    Good point on Irsay. If the NFL doesn’t ban him from the team for at least 4 games and fine him $500K, it will be clear there is a different standard for owners than players.

    1. Amusing that you think there isn’t. First time offense plus good work for the community plus promise not to do it again = one game ban plus $100k fine.

  17. No free pass for Roger on the public stage I’m betting. My wife already was not pleased about the Ray Rice deal. She said that if Aldon gets double or triple that she’d be pissed. When she hears this she will not be amused. It’s not just a women’s complaint of course, I have the same problems with it.
    But for me, it’s over now. The guy will have needed support and be in decent shape when he returns.
    Time to get the guys we’ve got ready.

    1. Right on! Let’s play the hand we’ve been dealt…. kick butt with who we’ve got, and as Bay mentioned, fresh legs on Aldon in November. It’ll pass fast
      Go Niners!!

    2. Tuna, remember how this all started out: when Aldon made the decision to go to 5 weeks of voluntary rehab in 2013 it had NOTHING to do with the NFL. He was trying to stay out of jail. Those 5 weeks had nothing to do with the NFL.

      What Aldon did with regard to his multiple and serious run-ins with the law was exactly what his good LA attorney told him to do. It goes like this: Attorney to Aldon: If you don’t have a drug problem better get one b/c you are checking into rehab. By doing so Aldon was acknowledging to the court that he had a drug problem and was taking the necessary steps to correct it and hopefully the court would grant him leniency.

      Aldon got 3 years of probation and so many hours of community service instead of jail time. I remember you and I discussing this b/c the jail time seemed minimal and once you’re on probation, if you screw up you’re screwed.

      In 2014 Aldon received a 9 week suspension and the good news is he has access to the 49ers’ facility and training room.

      1. Mary,

        Hmm, you could be on to something with your theory about about Smith fabricating his alcoholism.

        On the other hand, it could be you’re out if your mind.

        1. exgolfer – Thanks. I’m not saying that is what happened with Aldon. He probably has/had substance abuse issues. This is just standard practice among attorneys and it helps their clients’ get reduced sentences.

          He’s a great talent and I hope he gets his life together. I know RG is on the hot seat for the 9 week susp but allowing Aldon to attend meetings, practices (but not actually practice) means he’ll stay connected to the team and out of trouble. Great move — RG should be commended.

          1. Mary,

            It was a good move for Goodell to let Smith stay around the team during the time he’s suspended.

            Suspending Smith for 9 games is out of proportion when you consider that Rice got only 2 and Donte Stallworth (killed a man, while DUI) only got a year. Again, I’m not arguing that Smith’s suspension was way too long (although 6 games seems more appropriate for a first time suspension), but if we’re going to commend Goodell for letting Smith stay connected to his teammates, then we must criticize him for his wildly inconsistent and seemingly capricious decision.

  18. I know I’m in the minority given we’re 49er fans and hate seeing any “injustice” for our team, but personally I think Goodell is making the right decision with regards to Aldon. I thought he’d only get 4 games, but that is because I thought Goodell would go soft on him. It wasn’t a one time incident. Multiple infractions. Hard to argue.

    Letting Ray Rice get away with just a two game suspension then coming down hard on Aldon certainly stings as a 49er fan. But as Goodell acknowledged, he got the Rice suspension wrong.

    1. Scooter,

      I don’t necessarily disagree, but I think the punishment is excessive and continues a trend of inconsistency in terms of punishments delivered from the league office. Goodell stated last Oct that the idea of punishment is not to hurt the player but to change the behavior and said the fact Smith went to rehab on his own accord would be taken into account.

      Well after this, it clearly wasn’t considering Smith has not gotten into any further trouble both from an Alcohol or behavioral standpoint since then. The airport incident was never deemed to be a crime so it should not be viewed as such.

      Essentially, Goodell has ignored the fact Smith has changed his behavior since going to rehab, and also ignored the fact the weapons charges were reduced to misdemeanors and the guns in question were legal in multiple other states.

      I agree Smith needed to be punished and his behavior needed to change. The thing is, his behavior has changed and instead of acknowledging that, Goodell has sentenced him based on the offenses alone.

      I could have accepted 4-6 games but 9 is excessive and unwarranted under the circumstances imo. Ultimately it doesn’t matter what I think though so time to move on and hope the team can overcome his loss.

      1. I see that side of the coin, and I agree the inconsistency on these decisions is irritating to say the least.

        I think Goodell would have taken the voluntary rehab into consideration. But Aldon had to convince Goodell he’d changed for the better as a result. I realise the airport incident was not a crime, but it was still an indication of poor decision making on Aldon’s part. When he needed to be squeaky clean to impress upon Goodell he’s a changed man, he came up a little short. Its unfair, as it would appear Aldon didn’t really do anything particularly wrong in that incident, but that was the situation Aldon was in.

    2. Scooter,
      I agree that Goodell got the Rice disciplinary actions wrong. But I could respect a man so much more when he can correct a wrong rather than just admit to it.

      His admittance to a wrong (on Rice) only lends more questions about his credibility because it looks as if he is using Aldon to rectify his Rice mistake.
      At least that’s the way I view it.

      1. I’m sure most 49er fans feel that way AES.

        But if it was a guy like Marshawn Lynch instead of Aldon Smith in the same situation, I’m guessing 49er fans would think it was justified.

        1. Scooter,
          I agree that most 49er fans would likely feel this way. But my issue has more to do with the lack of an official standard of meting out punishment.

          Why and how a determination is made to punish a player for 9 games for foolishness over a person who physically beat a women in a public setting is what I mean by the league (Goodell) not having a standard to follow.

          Whether a 49er fan or not, I have a hard time swallowing Aldon’ suspension coming on the heels of Rice’ lenient suspension.
          If the standard set for Rice’ suspension is being supported by the fact that he have never had off field issue prior to this one, then the standard is flawed and needs to be immediately revised.

    3. Count me in that minority Scooter. These nine games also hit the pocket book as they are without pay. If from this Aldon finally grows up then in my opinion it is well worth it.

    4. Scooter,

      I do understand what you’re saying, but how do you square up nine games for Smith, when Stallworth only got a year (16 games) for killing a man while DUI? I’m sorry, that doesn’t work, no matter how you look at it.

      Also, it may have been for multiple offenses, but it was Smith’s first suspension. When you add in that he’s taken steps to solve his problem, nine games is heavy handed. Especially when Goodell only gave Rice two games. I know you hate that decision (so do I), I also know RG said he got that wrong (although, it was only AFTER getting blasted by the fans and media), but it still doesn’t justify giving AS nine games. You’ll never convince me of that.

      Four to Six was the right number. Four if RG wanted to give some consideration for the voluntary five games last year and six if he didn’t (he said he was going to consider the five games, but it looks like they didn’t count for anything).

      1. I believe Smith got four games for his DUI, which is in line with many others. He got 5 games for his other issues (Personal Conduct Policy). Multiple offenses, that is why he got 9 games in total.

          1. Ex, you clearly don’t see what Aldon has done as that bad. I do. He is lucky his bad decisions have not cost someone their life, like Stallworth’s did. That is how I justify it.

            1. Scooter,

              You infer incorrectly. What Smith has done is very bad. He deserved to be dealt with harshly. Having said that, penalties should be given out in the context of other penalties and should make some kind of sense, relative to one another.

              There is no way you can justify Smith getting nine games while Rice got two, you just can’t. It doesn’t make any sense.

              Now the max penalty for first time domestic violence offenders is six games, how can Goodell say that what Rice did is three games less severe than what Smith did? It’s just nuts.

              And don’t get me started with Stallworth getting only seven more games than Smith for killing a guy. Ridiculous.

              You see, it’s not that I don’t think what Smith has done is bad. It’s where his offenses and related suspension fit in the constellation of NFL discipline.

              1. “Jack,

                Similar, or worse.

                And that’s the point,what Rice did was worse, way worse, than what Smith did. ”

                Those were your words in response to Jack. You see Aldon’s offenses as nothing in comparison to Ray Rice. See my response to another of your comments further down the page regarding why I think that is wrong. I don’t see what Aldon has done, cumulatively, as “paling in comparison” to Ray Rice.

                Stallworth made the same bad decision as Aldon did (once, not multiple times like Aldon), but sadly it resulted in taking somebody’s life. He got punished accordingly, with time in jail and a suspension that was four times worse than the one Aldon got for his multiple DUIs. It wasn’t just seven more games, it was 12 more. Aldon’s 5 games were for his other offenses. Stallworth got four times the punishment simply because he hit someone while Aldon had the fortune of not hitting anyone. Aldon is lucky.

              2. There is no “max penalty” other than the commissioner’s stated policy, which he can change at his discretion. It is a PR move, not a binding framework.

              3. JPN,

                Are you referring to the mitigating circumstances language? Like playing for a team whose owner you’re pals with (See: Ravens, Baltimore)?

              4. Scooter,

                Setting aside who’s offense was worse, suspensions handed down by the NFL need to have some consistency, relative to one another. As of yet, Goodell has been all over the map and the 49ers have been left holding the very tip of the short end of the stick.

                OK, I’ll turn it around on you, and maybe it will help you see where I’m coming from:

                So, I guess you don’t think what Ray Rice did wasn’t that bad, since you think that Smith, whose offenses, while irresponsible and POTENTIALLY dangerous for himself and/or others, is worse than Ray Rice beating his then girl friend.

                Dude, Rice knocked a defenseless human being out cold. An action that will likely have effects on her far beyond and much longer lasting than the injuries (which were bad enough). Can you imagine her ever feeling truly safe around Rice, or, hopefully to a lesser degree, any other man?

                It may seem I have been playing the “Grant Card”, in saying that what Rice did is way worse than Smith, but, for me, it’s simple. Rice violently injured another person, Smith did not. On this level, what Rice did is way worse, IMO.

              5. Exgolfer,

                The letter is not binding, so there is no true minimum or maximum penalties. It is merely a statement of policy, not a controlling document, and the commissioner can change it or rescind it at any time. This makes it meaningless unless he chooses to follow it.

                And even if it were a controlling document, the commissioner within it reserves the right to consider both aggravating and mitigating factors, which means even by the plain wording of the letter that under the commissioner’s current policy, six games is a default, not a mandatory, discipline.

              6. Ex, you should read my response to another of your comments further down the page, you will see that I do think that while individually Aldon’s offenses are not as bad as what Rice did, cumulatively, Aldon’s offenses are at least as bad as Ray Rice’s offense.

                Violently assaulting someone is a very bad crime. And that is what Rice did. It can cause serious damage physically and psychologically to the victim.

                Driving while impaired can also cause serious physical and psychological damage if someone is hurt or killed (see Stallworth, Donte), while firing weapons at a party is reckless and could easily have resulted in physical (and emotional) trauma. Aldon has put people in harm’s way on multiple occasions. He is extremely lucky no serious harm has been caused through his actions.

                I don’t agree with saying that someone who repeatedly puts people in harm’s way as a result of stupidity isn’t as bad as hurting someone intentionally. They are equally bad and equally dangerous in my opinion, because both show that the individual has no regard for others wellbeing.

              7. Scooter,

                I wonder if Rice’s wife would agree that Smith’s offenses are the same, or worse, than what her husband did to her.

                If you run a red light and there are no cops around, you might think, “wow, that was stupid, how could I not see that red light. I was lucky nobody was in the intersection going the other way.” That’s the extent of your punishment.

                Let’s say instead, you broadside a minivan, and wipe out a family. Now you’ve got problems.

                Same mistake, with very different results.

                Same thing with smith and rice. One could’ve hurt someone, and the other actually did. To me, that is a huge difference.

              8. “I wonder if Rice’s wife would agree that Smith’s offenses are the same, or worse, than what her husband did to her.”

                I’d be very surprised if she did. I also wouldn’t be surprised to hear that victims or families of victims impacted by DUIs feel that Aldon is getting off lightly with just four games for his multiple DUI offenses.

              9. Btw, I understand your point. One person’s offenses didn’t result in any serious injury to anyone. I just find it odd that people are so content to punish those that have the misfortune to have their stupidity result in serious injury or fatality (e.g., Stallworth), but if nobody is hurt then no harm, no foul. It is the behaviour that is the problem, and only severely punishing those whose behaviour happens to result in a serious injury doesn’t discourage that behaviour in those that think “yeah, but it’ll never happen to me”.

                Now an argument of malice I can understand. Ray Rice’s incident you can argue showed malice, while Aldon’s did not. But I still think malice or no, to repeatedly undertake the same reckless behaviour shows complete disregard for others’ wellbeing, and is just as bad.

  19. From what I read there will be no appeal. Goodell is trying to make up for the image hit “the shield” took but little does he know he looks worse. 9 games is crazy. Even if I wasn’t a fan I’d still believe it was harsh. Goodell has no rhyme or reason as to why he punishes people like he does. He should be forced to give reasons for why each persons suspension is what it is.

  20. I think the Ray Rice ruling aside, we are upset because we all assumed 6-8 games and it exceeded that. Think a lot of us were hopeful that last years games off would apply towards this years suspension.
    Neither of those things happened. Lets be accountable. This sucks, but he also did make mistakes. Next man up. Aldon gets to be around the facility and hopefully work out. He’ll be on fresh legs for Seattle both games.

        1. Ed Werder @Edwerderespn · 58m
          The five games Aldon Smith missed last season while voluntarily seeking assistance for alcohol abuse did not impact his punishment

          1. I know Goodell said something to the effect this would be taken into account, but aside from that comment is there any reason people think it should have had any bearing? I’ve heard people talk about those five games as a “voluntary suspension” – no it wasn’t, he was undergoing rehab voluntarily and the 49ers gave him leave from the team to do so. It was not a suspension of any kind.

            Good on Aldon for doing it, but I don’t see why the five games missed should have impacted Goodell’s final decision on punishment. The fact he checked himself in for treatment (and thereby acknowledged and sought help for his problem) should and likely would have had a positive influence on the decision, but then he went and got himself in trouble again this offseason showing he hadn’t really learned anything.

            1. The bomb threat incident does nothing to say Aldon hadn’t learned anything, literally a completely unrelated incident. And the 5 games 100% should’ve had some effect if the punishments are truly, as Goodell says, to stop behavior instead of being merely retributive. To put it simply, the fact that Aldon decided to get help for his substance abuse problem should factor into Goodell punishing on the substance abuse problem if the punishment is merely intended to stop the behavior.

              1. Yeah, that’s true tkamb, I shouldn’t have said he hadn’t learned anything. I should have said it showed that he continues to make poor or questionable decisions. End of the day, he was in a position where he couldn’t afford to make any waves, and rightly or wrongly he ended up on the front of newspapers for the wrong reasons again.

                But I completely disagree the 5 games should have counted. The fact he went to rehab voluntarily should have counted, if he convinced Goodell he’d changed for the better as a result. But the 5 games he missed were completely voluntary and outside of football, and had nothing to do with any self-imposed or team-imposed suspension, so I fail to see why Goodell should then take 5 games off any suspension he handed down.

              2. Going to have to agree to disagree here then, but to clarify yes Aldon’s rehab was voluntary but it did have an impact on him even if he was still receiving game checks. And my point about stopping behavior isn’t really my point because it came straight from Goodell’s mouth in October as you can read the quote above and he was the one who says that the rehab would be a factor “for sure.” So while he wasn’t bound to those words or anything, and maybe the LAX incident had a bigger impact on this decision than I think it should have had, he still lied if what Ed Werder reported was true.

        2. MWNiner,

          You mean a year, like Donte Stallworth who actually killed a man while DUI? Given the randomness of the way Goodell hands down discipline, it’s actually possible.

          He must have raised some very confused children…

    1. No, Bay, the reason we are upset is precisely a result of the Ray Rice deal. We all KNOW that Aldon deserved a punishment, but because he has been contrite, because he has already suspended himself for 5 games, we thought that his punishment would be reduced, as Goodell indicated it would; it appears it was not, so Goodell is a liar. More importantly, we ALL know that beating a woman is worse than ingesting a drug (alcohol) or unknowingly bringing an illegal firearm across state lines; beating a woman is worse than cheating, even, so here there is evidence that not only is Goodell a liar, but he is also either corrupt, a misogynist, or a moron.

      He’s not a moron, he’s likely not a misogynist (as he has a wife and 2 daughters), so he is likely a corrupt liar.

      Anybody here willing to argue that Roger Goodell is NOT a corrupt liar?

    2. Bay,
      Good post, but the Rice decision is what negatively highlights the Aldon suspension imo.

      I’m not bothered by the punishment Aldon is receiving, I’m bothered by the decision made by the league office that puts more emphasis on Aldon’ indiscretions over those of Rice.

  21. if Coach Harbaw did not know how to recognize,
    appreciate, and sustain the values which athletes
    and men of character in general live by, he was given
    ample opportunity while at Stanford University and also
    the University of San Diego (small private Catholic college).

    Whatever Harbaw failed to nurture in Aldon Smith is likely
    absent as well from the moral compass/core of the coach.
    (Note: were his DUI and his divorce his only screw ups…?)
    Time to “peel back the onion” on Niner leadership, hmm?
    They have all played a role here; you too, Jed………

      1. Oh, you guys! Never even read this idiot’s posts. I was surprised he didn’t post something in favor of the Napa Quake.

        1. Speaking of the quake…I was happy to hear that my alma mater didn’t get any significant damage.
          I miss that town…

    1. What the @$#/ does this have to do with Smith’s? The answer: NOTHING! Go back into the little dark corner of your room before sombody decides to open the curtains to your room’s window causing you to melt (I hope).

  22. Well I couldn’t have been more wrong about my optimistic approach to the suspension. I’m disappointed as fan of the 49ers, but I am even more mad at Aldon Smith for being such an idiot.
    We all point to Gordon not getting it after being suspended and still running his mouth, but Aldon is in the same boat. Quite honestly, he was an idiot. DUI, Assault Weapons leading to someone getting shot at his house, DUI with an accident, and then a bomb threat at a freaking airport putting everyone -women, children, families- in jeopardy.
    So as a fan, I hate the suspension. As a dad, father, and husband, I understand it. The guy is going to kill himself or someone else. Perhaps he’ll learn something of real value in those 9 games. Goodell doesn’t get credit here. He’s just a control monger using the poor judgments of overpaid youths to exact his own agenda.

    1. I understand what you’re saying but going by the laws in place in the United States, which are just as screwed as Goodell rules, he did very little wrong. He wasn’t convicted on anything

      1. Hooey,
        I have 2 daughters with a 3rd due Feb 9th. (We did the blood test to confirm sex.) As a father I can assure you there wouldn’t be talk about a suspension for the athlete that abused my daughter. There would be a missing person’s search instead. I hear alligators in the everglades are hungry and would probably be a good place to start the search.
        I didn’t sight the Rice suspension because I didn’t think it was relative to the circumstances Aldon was suspended for. I compared Gordon instead since they both violated substance policy.
        My opinion on the Rice suspension is that it should have been a year long suspension with the option to interview the victim at the end of that year to see if she feels he should be allowed to play again. I’d also designate a percentage of his pay check ( a large fine) to help battered and abused victims.
        The NFL is a cash cow. They could use their resources to do real good for the fan base and the people of this country. I think Goodell has an opportunity to right a wrong by educating and helping organizations for battered and abused people.
        I would be curious to know what happens to the paycheck of a suspended player.

  23. On a positive note, this will give guys like Lemonier and Lynch a great opportunity to develop their game and showcase their skills, which will benefit the 49ers at the end of the season and in the longer term. And it means the 49ers will be getting some top shelf players coming back at the end of the season (Smith, Bowman, Dorsey) to make a push towards the Super Bowl.

    1. Very true and I’m encouraged by what I’ve seen from both Lemonier and Lynch. If they can stay in the hunt for the first half of the season, they should be a candidate to be playing their best football in the second half.

  24. Do’nt think Harbaugh wo’nt use this suspension as a rallying cry. The us against the world theme will be screamed from the rafters. There is no way you can replace A. Smith for those 9 games but expect to see a more motivated and focused 9er team than you have seen in the prior 3 years. GO NINERS

  25. Don’t compare this penalty to Rice’s penalty. If this stops Aldon from drinking and driving then its a damn good ruling. Aldon besides civil punishment is going to lose 9 games, well over a million dollars and worst yet, he let his teammates down not to mention the fan base. If that isn’t enough deterrent I am not sure what is. Life’s choices supersede a football game. The best part of the punishment is that he is allowed on premises. I think that is huge. Good luck Aldon, a man will overcome this a boy will continue to be a boy. This might serve as added motivation for the season. The Niners will unite and over come.

    1. I don’t think anyone thinks that he shouldn’t have been suspended…it’s the length of the suspension that everyone is up in arms about…I’m pretty sure we all hope that this gets him to get his life together…and I think people are comparing this with what Ray Rice not because they’re the same, but because of the inconsistencies involved…plus I think Dictator Goddell is trying to save face for his screw up concerning Ray Rice…just my two cents

      1. In my opinion the length isn’t long enough. I have personnel reasons for dealing harshly with this type of problem in society. See the way I see it Aldon is lucky, why you ask, he hit a tree and didn’t kill himself or worst yet kill someone else. There is no room for error when drinking and driving is concerned. Believe me! Ray Rice in my opinion should of received the same punishment as the Saint gate people did. One year minimum, then we will think about it.

    1. I went over the schedule as soon as the suspension was announced.

      I had 11-5 regular season. I assumed a 4 game suspension, with the 49ers splitting the Denver and New Orleans games. Now I have them both in the L column.

      But I also had the 49ers splitting the Rams games. With Bradford down, I have the 49ers winning both, which returns me to 11-5.

      Unfortunately the Bradford injury means Seattle will have it easier too. Even though the record is the same, our chances of winning the division is reduced a bit.

      With Bowman and Aldon out, the offense will have to play significantly better then last year to get that 11-5. They will have to be lucky with injuries on the O-line and running back. If the offense is only slightly improved from 2013, the 49ers are in trouble.

    1. And Lemonier will be a better player now than he was last year. Not to mention they now have Lynch who can also offer some pass rush skills.

    2. Nice article with actual facts and analysis. Its interesting how much impressionism passes for journalism and sports reporting. The idea of Aldon might be greater than Aldon. Good work.

  26. It looks like RG did take Aldon’s five weeks in rehab into consideration when he allowed the players union request to allow Aldon to maintain his daily contact with the team and workout at the facility. If my memory is correct that it’s the first time they have allowed that for substance abuse, then it’s a long time coming.

    As far as I can see that’s RG’s only concession to supporting players with substance abuse problems who seek help as apposed to punishing them.

    It’s clear that the NFL doesn’t want to ever have to explain how they arrive at a penalty because they will always want to shape penalties in the interest of the league first and foremost.

  27. I think this makes it more likely we will be fighting for a wildcard berth to the playoffs. This year is going to be a true test of Harbaugh’s ability to keep the team winning. Hopefully Kaep takes that next step to take some pressure off the defense.

    1. why would you make a comment like that? Last year we were without Aldo for five games and Willis was gone for a couple of those games as well. And we didn’t have Crabs for the first 11 games.
      This year we have a healthy Crabs. A better third down receiver. McDonald looks to be a force. We have Bruce Miller back and finally an upgrade over Gore….

      You half empty guys drive me nuts. Take a hike.

      1. Wait, wait, wait.
        You had me until the ‘finally an upgrade over Gore’ part.
        Don’t anoint Hyde just yet.
        He hasn’t even seen regular season football.
        Everything else I totally agree with.

  28. Grant – Has there been any assigned counseling for Smith which accompanies the suspension? Also, even though he is not able to play in games, can he practice, participate in team position meetings, train in the weight room, receive medical attention and treatment frtom the trainers and team doctors, etc.? If the league does not allow this, it is not a very proactive force in allowing Smith to be part of the organization and receive assistance in any form he might need.

    1. Not sure yet about counseling, but he does get to be around the facility which means he gets to participate in everything like practice and meetings I believe.

      1. I thought it might be like NFI list players. They can be in the facility, work out, go to meetings etc. But they can’t participate in practices.

        If Aldon can practice he will be a monster for the NYG game.

          1. Keep it up Razor and I’ll invite 20+ Seahawk fans from BR over here b/c this is a public site — anyone can post comments here. Grant says he welcomes diversity.

            1. Making threats, now, Marty? I don’t think bringing 20+ Seahawk trolls on this site is what Grant means by welcoming diversity. That would be an intentional attempt at disrupting this 49er blog. You are really taking the low road of a pure troll right now. Probably the worse example of it in all my years of blogging.

              1. Spaceborn: It’s not a threat. After all you’re a naturalborn bully — I would think you would welcome Seahawk fans here so you could try and push more people around ;) Now Grant reads all these posts and he knows exactly who’s making trouble and who’ not.

  29. Eddie will see that Aldon gets a suitcase or two full of 100-dollar bills on the side. That’s the Debartolo way and that is why the league came down on both Alden and Eddie so hard. You will rarely if ever see anything on either ESPN or NFL Network about the Niners, the team is anathema.

    Someone needs a pair of concrete shoes. Badda-Bing, Badda-Boom…

  30. Per Tom Pelissero of USA Today, the 49ers have saved more money against the cap by restructuring Ray McDonald’s deal.

  31. Does anyone have a rough breakdown on how much money Aldon stands to lose with a 9 game suspension?

    This is an odd suspension to say the least. I can’t recall any past players allowed to attend all team activities while on suspension. Goodell seems to be setting a precedent here that could prove very divisive for future disciplinary actions.
    The message I gather from this action is that Goodell is ‘winging it.’ If Goodell is the only entity determining disciplinary actions, then the system is flawed.

      1. That’s about right if the fine doesn’t include his bonus. If the fine includes his bonus then it will be about twice that amount.

  32. I agree with the commissioner. Conduct unbecoming is an ethical issue and needs to be dealt with moraly. Aldon Smiths action were nothing more than a selfish act that not only cost him financialy but the stakeholders of the organization aswell: team, coaches and fans. AS should should of thought about that before committing these acts im-moral acts within society. Serving a career in the US Navy and witnessing Sailors discharged early from thier carreers for actions such as this are appropriate and there should be no differnce for Mr. Smith or NFL players who look up upon.

    I think coach harbaugh said it first, its about the team, where was that commitment from AS? Furhtermore, I think it is about time the NFL holds players accountable for thier actions and this is a start. This is a step in the right direction toward protecting those palyers within the league who excercise good judgment and protect the image of the NFL.

    My respect to Balkee and coach Harbaugh for doing the right thing last season in geting AS help, that shows true leadership. Not appealing shows even more fortitude for accepting responsibility for actions.

    Truely, I think he got off easy and should have had to sit out the whole season.

    Don’t get me wrong, I am a true Niner fan and would love to see AS help the team win, but to many youth look up to him and need to relize the are actions to consiquences.

    Just my thoughts.


    1. Doc,
      you have any idea how difficult it is to make mature decisions for some of these guys at 23 years old? Growing up in Aldon’s household plus the fact that he has a disease. How many alcoholics do you know that conquer their disease by 23 years old?

      Lots of these guys have their growing up moment that teaches them to be better men. I watched Vernon go through maturation. I am hoping Aldon does too. Your post lacks compassion.

      1. bayareafanatic:
        THANK YOU!!!
        Couldn’t of said it better.
        If this guy’s really a doc, he sure doesn’t seem like a very caring one.
        And I’m glad he’s not MY doc…

      2. @Bay
        You expressed your thoughts well, and I’m in general agreement in terms of Aldon. The curative approach is preferred. Doc’s militaristic approach doesn’t deal with managing assets; so far the military has an endless supply of volunteer
        Pop Up Targets. As an ex-Marine I know.
        PG&E made an enlightened breakthrough in the 70’s when they began treating troubled Vet employees as ill instead of undesirable. It paid in the long run.
        > Now, Doc’s view is not without some merit. When I was in Nam, 20 year old squad leaders were making life&death decisions daily. There’s little room for ‘missing a play’; right? It’s an unforgiving business. So Doc is used to blind institutional accountability.

        1. Drinking and driving is a serious issue in our society as are domestic abuse and overall substance abuse.
          The problem I have with the NFL is the inconsistency in all their punishments. It’s differs from the helmet to helmet penalties and fines as well as what we have seen to the Ray Rice suspension and Aldon Smith.
          I think we as fans just want more clarity and consistency to all of it.

        2. Honor courage and commitment, not blind to ethical and moral decisions. Severed with 3rd Bn 3rd Marines 1st Gulf War, 1st Bn 2nd Marines Hit Iraq, Seal Delivery Team 1 and CSTA Afghanistan 2009. Bronze Star recipient and combat action ribbon recognized. I have cared for the wounded in less than desirable conditions. Those who exercise a commitment to our country and abide by the law. No exceptions for Aldon Smith.

          Dilemma, forgo the suspension SF wins super bowl and AS relapses: DUI involving innocent by standard permanently injuring himself tarnishing the NFL and SF 9er organization. Or, paying the suspension honorably and extended productivity toward the organization.

          I pick the latter of the two. The winning is not in this season, but seasons to come.

  33. I agree with the commissioner. Conduct unbecoming is an ethical issue and needs to be dealt with moraly. Aldon Smiths action were nothing more than a selfish act that not only cost him financialy but the stakeholders of the organization aswell: team, coaches and fans. AS should of thought about that before committing these im-moral acts within society. Serving a career in the US Navy and witnessing Sailors discharged early from thier carreers for actions such as this are appropriate and there should be no differnce for Mr. Smith or NFL players who look up upon.

    I think coach harbaugh said it first, its about the team, where was that commitment from AS? Furhtermore, I think it is about time the NFL holds players accountable for thier actions and this is a start. This is a step in the right direction toward protecting those palyers within the league who excercise good judgment and protect the image of the NFL.

    My respect to Balkee and coach Harbaugh for doing the right thing last season in geting AS help, that shows true leadership. Not appealing shows even more fortitude for accepting responsibility for actions.

    Truely, I think he got off easy and should have had to sit out the whole season.

    Don’t get me wrong, I am a true Niner fan and would love to see AS help the team win, but to many youth look up to him and need to relize the are actions to consiquences.

    Just my thoughts.


  34. Wow, this suspension makes no sense. According to Goodell, Aldon Smith’s actions make him 4.5 times as bad as a “man,” Ray Rice, who beats his wife and drags her through a hotel hall by her hair. Clearly, Goodell is not consistent or even in his judgement, to say the least.

  35. Aldon has done this to himself. He’s been offered a ton of help and its been constant since he entered the league. Hopefully he’ll learn how serious it is and learn to make wise choices from now on. Its inequitable compared to Rice’s yet fair for the number and types of violations he has had. Remember this doesn’t include him getting stabbed or the law suit he’s in for someone getting shot at his party.

    In preseason the 49ers had 7 sacks. None of them by starters. Lemonier had 2, Lynch 1,Purcell 1, Carradine 1, Borland 1, Wilhoite 1.

    We’ll miss Aldon but the silver lining is that we have better OLB/Dline back up support this year plus the production of Brooks. Its not like Aldon’s the only one who had sacks last year. Purcell won’t make the squad but if the rest of those guys can add 6 sacks per four games to what the starters are producing we’ll be ok. I tend to trust that Fangio’s scheme is responsible for most of the success and good coaching on all parts of the defense puts players in the best place to succeed.

    I know the popular NFL pundits like to question our secondary. If Dahl or Spillman is in the game we’re in trouble. But I believe this group is better than people realize. There’s good depth there and potential.

  36. No point crying over spilled milk, what’s done is done. At least we finally know. Still far more concerned about the offensive line as a whole and the back up QB situation then losing one guy for 9 weeks.

  37. What is done is done. Time to move on. The season starts now . The coaching staff has known this would happen, the suspension has been planed for…
    SB or Bust!

  38. Probably not much chance of this for Aldon:

    Ben Roethlisberger’s suspension has been cut from six games to four by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell.

    The Pittsburgh Steelers’ star quarterback met with Goodell early Friday and was told he could return on Oct. 17 against Cleveland.

    In that one-on-one meeting, which took place at Westchester County Airport, about 30 miles north of the NFL offices in Manhattan, Roethlisberger was contrite and real, a source with knowledge of the meeting told ESPN’s Sal Paolantonio. Then Goodell informed Roethlisberger that the suspension would be reduced — but that Roethlisberger must continue to avoid any further violations of the personal conduct policy.

    Roethlisberger was suspended in April for violating the league’s personal conduct policy, but Goodell said at the time he would review the player’s behavior over the next few months. Goodell was satisfied that the quarterback has followed the league’s guidelines and stayed out of trouble.

    1. I guess that on the scale of punishable offenses, the following mathmatical equation applies:
      DUI + firing a gun at home + silly comments at an airport > rape.

  39. Doc,
    I commend your service to our country and respect your take on the Goodell’ actions.
    I too, have been of the opinion that Aldon should serve some form of discipline for his poor choices.

    The issue I have here is, how does a person (Goodell) determine that Aldon’ poor decisions outweigh those of Ray Rice’ brutal physical abuse of a women. And if Goodell is the hierarchy who is capable of making such decisions, then why not correct the obvious poor decision he made in the Rice suspension.
    I can understand the Aldon suspension.
    I have a hard time understanding it in the light of Rice’ suspension.

  40. If Aldon is allowed to practice and continue training he’ll be alright. He’ll be in a positive environment and chomping at the bit to get back on the field. As someone said earlier. He’s going to be a killer once he is on the field. Fresh at the end of the season when lineman have been taking a pounding. Maybe, Goodell did us a favor, maybe.

    1. Aldon can continue training at the 49ers facility. Grant says he can also practice.

      Others differ, indicating he has the same restrictions as players on NFI. Workouts yes. Meetings yes. Film study yes. One on one instruction yes. Organized team practices no.

      Anyone have the final word on this?

        1. Thanks. You have the official final word. I hope Aldon takes this as a football fellowship. Work out, refine technique, study film on the final six opponents left OTs till his eyeballs go dry.

  41. Goodell should be ashamed of himself. He has dropped the ball with discipline. Aldon deserves to be suspended, no doubt.
    Michael Vick was only effectively suspended for two games after going to prison for purchasing property solely for the purpose of running dog fighting rings. He raised dogs from birth to be killers, gave them steroids and purchased other animals just to be torn to pieces by the dogs in training. When he found the dogs no longer useful, he didn’t simply put them to sleep, he body slammed them, electrocuted their testicles, lit them on fire and hung them. He lied to Goodell’s face about it as well. His actions were inherently evil.
    Ray Rice knocked his wife out cold in an elevator and proceeded to drag her out of it and dump her on the floor. His behavior showed that he was not concerned for her well being, he was worried about his career. His wife was out cold on the ground and his first reaction was to look around for cameras. He doesn’t deserve to be called a man because he isn’t one. He’s a coward and his actions prove it. Rice was suspended for ….two games. Smh.
    Plaxico was suspended four games for shooting himself in the leg. Josh Gordon and Justin Blackmon are suspended indefinitely due to substance abuse issues. They need help and could be a positive example of what that help could provide. Aldon hopefully will become a good example for people with substance abuse issues. Goodell has dropped the hammer on young men who need help and spanked the hands of men who committed truly appalling acts. He’s a joke and only started to take action after people let him know it.

  42. Ray Rice should pick up Smith’s game checks for at least 3 of those weeks since a 6 game suspension was the reasonable ceiling before he was made into a scapegoat. I was thinking in the 2 or less range but I didn’t factor in the knee jerk reaction by the league to try and fix some of the Rice PR debacle.

    1. C4C,
      I would have been good with Smith receiving a 2 game suspension and at worse a 4 game suspension. His foolish deeds were deserving of such a punishment.

      But 9 games? And then trying to save face by allowing Aldon to join in all team activities (minus practice) only gives credence to Goodell’ passive aggressive character and unstable judgment.
      Goodell’ standards are fluid and amiss.

  43. According to Maiocco, teams are interested in Winston, and why wouldn’t they be? Don’t count on him making it to the practice squad…..

    1. Razor,
      I would not have said this 2 weeks ago, but as of this moment it wouldn’t surprise me if the 49ers keep GWin over LMJ.

      Winston provides size, speed, power, a good first step burst, and after what I seen last night he would not be a liability in blocking. I don’t know if GWin is a good receiver and that could be what swings the pendulum in his favor or not.

      I would feel a bit bad for LMJ if he doesn’t make the team simply because I feel that GRo did not exploit his talents properly by finding ways to get him the ball in the open field where he could better use his skills.
      But again, nothing in sports really surprise anymore.

  44. AES- Your statement is on point. In order for discipline to be corrective it needs to be consistent. Consistency is the moral foundation and provides a moral justification for all law. The purpose for precedence is to guarantee consistency. Laws and rules should never be arbitrarily enforced. —

    Doc the military is governed under the laws of the articles of military justice. The laws under which we live in our present society is a far cry from those rules. The military by necessity, functions under an entirely different standard which makes your example irrelevant in this case.

    I think most people have a problem with the length of the suspension based on it being mostly arbitrary and inconsistent. This is not unlike the way rules are formulated and enforced on the field of play itself. It appears that the Niner’s continue to catch the short end of the stick from the commissioner off the field as they have one the field from the officials. Both cases are a reflection of incompetence by those entrusted to formulate and enforce rules.

    The main issue with Goodell is his making an example of Aldon for his mistake with Rice. Make no bones about it they had to do something to correct the negative public PR backlash they got from the Rice decision. The problem is that the consequences should not have been heaped on Aldon. It is wrong and unethical and totally counter to any principle of law to make someone pay a penalty for another’s mistake. The mistake was Goodell’s and any others that were apart of making that decision. Goodell should have suspended and fined himself. The major problem is that those that are responsible for making decisions and laws seldom feel the effects of their mistakes. Rather the consequences of their mistakes are reaped by others. Goodell admitted he made a mistake so rather than holding himself accountable he use’s Aldon and probably others as scapegoats. So typical of those on top. Goodell makes a mistake and then uses someone else to take the heat off of himself.

    Our society conditions us to accept the lack of accountability for those that make decisions that impact all of us negatively. We think it is normal that we reap the consequences of the actions of others. Most of those running the show are incompetent. They are just good at getting and staying in their positions of authority and we are the ones that allow them to do so.

    Responsibility and accountability should go hand in hand. No one should ever be allowed to make any decision that they are not the first to feel any negative consequences from.

    1. “I think most people have a problem with the length of the suspension based on it being mostly arbitrary and inconsistent.”

      Not having a hard and fast system in place for determining the number of games suspended can be a problem, but the inconsistency is the kicker. I don’t think anyone can wrap their head around Aldon getting 9 games when Ray Rice got only 2.

      But the Ray Rice suspension aside, I don’t think a suspension of around half a season is that unreasonable for a guy that has racked up a laundry list of offenses over the past couple of years like Aldon has. The real test will be whether this hard line stance becomes consistent from here on out. If Goodell then goes soft on the next repeat offender, or the one after, etc, then I think it is fair for Aldon, the 49ers and 49er fans to feel hard done by.

  45. Willtalk:
    “The main issue with Goodell is his making an example of Aldon for his mistake with Rice. Make no bones about it they had to do something to correct the negative public PR backlash they got from the Rice decision.”

    I agree with your take, but unfortunately the league office will spin it 180 degrees from that perspective.

  46. The length of the suspension isn’t shocking. The NFL has a history of coming down hard when dealing with substance issues. Smith has 2 DUI’s and the gun charge to his name. We’ve been hearing for over a month that it would be a lenghtly suspension and that’s what happened.

    The fact that they are allowing Smith to be at the facility in meetings and for workouts is a positive. It will give him the support that he needs as he deals with staying clean.

    1. Hammer:
      “The length of the suspension isn’t shocking.”

      In light of the Rice suspension and subsequent admittance by Goodell of not making the proper decision, I feel that the Smith decision is shocking.

      A billion dollar industry who fails to have set standard for doling out punishment gives it poor image.
      I guess my anger stems more from the disciplinary actions the league took against Rice when compared to that of Aldon Smith.
      To me it comes down to the old adage of the punishment should fit the crime. In this case, the NFL determined their own rule on the run.

      1. Stop focusing on the Rice suspension and pay attention to Gordon and the substance policy suspensions.

        “A billion dollar industry who fails to have set standard for doling out punishment gives it poor image.”

        Yep, which is why Goodell put standards in place earlier this week.

        1. Jack
          I think a significant element in our culture is focusing on EXACTLY the Ray Rice decision. The NFL does not operate in a cocoon while raking in those kinda $. Just as they hoped, everybody is watching. Even in the offseason too though. Careful what you wish for.

          1. Of course they are Brotha, but they’re different types of offenses which carry different punishments. Just as breaking different laws in society leads to different sentences in the judicial system.

              1. Jack,

                I may be wrong, but I think Smith has one DUI on his record. The first (Florida?) was reduced to a lesser charge, right?

                The difference between Gordon’s and Smith’s offenses is that Gordon’s carried a predetermined penalty and Smith’s did not. So, beyond the fact that both offenses involve abuse of substances, I don’t think the comparison was an apt one. Besides the prescriptive penalty for weed and the absence of one for booze, there’s the issue of weed being illegal (federally and in most states) and booze being legal.

                BTW, do you have any recollection of how many games other players have received for a DUI offense? I realize that Smith also had the weapons charge, but 14 games seems like an awful lot when compared to other suspensions dished out by the NFL.

              2. It’s 4 games for the two DUI arrests. A quick scan of the interwebs shows a full season for Odell Thurman and also a full season for Donte Stallworth whose DUI resulted in a fatality. Vikings WR Jerome Simpson recently received a 3 game suspension as well.

                The other 5 games is for the conduct policy. Tank Johnson got 8 games for possession of firearms back in 2007.

                Now I understand this is an incomplete list and I should be outraged, but I’m not. He broke the law and rules of the league and he’s been punished for it.

              3. Couldn’t agree more Jack. Sure, the 49er fan in me is annoyed and frustrated, and wishes the suspension was more lenient. But my more rational self agrees with a lengthy suspension.

              4. Jack,

                I guess what I really object to is the two games that Ray Rice got, more than Smith getting nine.

                I know you feel that you can’t compare the two, but neither had a prescriptive penalty, so Goodell was free to do what he thought was right, and I guess he thought that what Smith did is seven times worse than Rice’s beating and dragging his then girlfriend, and that has me shaking my head.

              5. Jack,

                Take Stallworth’s suspension. One stinking year for killing someone. I’m sorry, there’s something very wrong when DS gets one year (16 games) and AS gets nine games.

              6. Not quite 7 times Ex. Smith only got 5 for violating the personal conduct policy. Not the 14 you keep referring to.

                Was the length of the Rice suspension a joke?Of ccourse.

                I just see them as separate violations which should have different levels of punishment. That’s why I don’t compare the two.

              7. He didn’t get 9 games. He got 4. The 5 he missed last year were voluntary and he was paid while out. If the team had suspended him without pay perhaps Goodell would have done more than take it into consideration.

        2. Hammer:
          “Stop focusing on the Rice suspension and pay attention to Gordon and the substance policy suspensions.”

          When it comes to Rice, my focus is more on the level of his crime. While Gordon and Aldon were guilty of crimes as well, their crimes were not against a women who did not have a chance to defend herself against a professional athlete.
          For me, in the final analysis the crime should fit the punishment and Rice’ punishment was an absolute farce.
          Simply put, Goodell disgraced himself with the Rice punishment.

            1. Which he also has the power to nullify and correct.

              But I know he won’t go that far because it shows incompetence and also it would open a can of worms with red tape.

              1. “It also would be double-jeopardy.”

                No, it would not double jeopardy. The constitutional prohibition against double jeopardy pertains to the criminal justice system, not private entities. Moreover, even with respect to criminal convictions, sentences can be reviewed, altered and/or overturned. The protection against double jeopardy only pertains to trying a defendant for the same crime after an acquittal.

                More to the point, the collective bargaining agreement does not prohibit the commissioner from changing a suspension once meted out.

                Finally, the criminal justice analogies that have been flying about with regard to NFL player discipline are inapt. All criminal sentences are bounded in some manner by statute, with severity of the offense dictating allowable sentences. Some states, such as CA, even have mandatory sentencing standards (other states have sentencing guidelines that are more flexible). However, the NFL personal conduct policy and the alcohol abuse section of the NFL Policy and Program for Substance Abuse (Section III.B.)( do not provide either guidelines or mandatory standards for suspension. Under both the personal conduct policy and the alcohol section of the substance abuse policy, suspension is discretionary. Even the non-alcohol substance abuse discipline section (Section II) only states the normal range of suspensions rather than giving an absolute standard for them, despite many reports to the contrary. Under the NFL policies in question, the commissioner always reserves discretion.

              2. JPN,

                I’m not a lawyer, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn recently.

                Would a lawyer use examples of sentencing from a case that has completely different offenses when trying to negotiate a deal?

                Wouldn’t they go to a case that’s similar?

              3. Jack,

                Similar, or worse.

                And that’s the point,what Rice did was worse, way worse, than what Smith did. Even after RG was slapped in the head by fans and the media, to the point where he admitted he blew it with Rice, and laid out strict penalties for domestic violence going forward, he turned around and hammered Smith with a 50% greater penalty than the max a first time wife abuser could get. Sorry, that’s out of whack.

              4. Jack,

                I did not see your question until now. I apologize, but I am not sure to what you are referring. If you are referring to the Rice suspension, I agree – it has no bearing on Smith’s suspension, other than as fairly weak persuasive authority and as suggestive evidence that the outcry with respect to it may have made the commissioner’s office more aware of public reaction to discipline. My only issue with your comments on the Rice suspension was that what was proposed above(i.e. revising the discipline handed down to Rice) did not, either legally or conceptually, constitute double jeopardy.

                My final point, on the discretionary nature of league discipline, was a more general comment that the legal justice system comparisons many folks want to make are problematic as the commissioner’s office, under the very carefully worded language of the pertinent policies, enjoys a degree of discretion beyond what almost any court enjoy. I am especially frustrated with claims that the commissioner followed some kind of mandatory framework with respect to A, Smith’s suspension when the plain text of the controlling documents do not support such assertions.

                The alcohol abuse discipline section under the substance abuse policy is especially, and seemingly intentionally, vague. Even what seems to be a mandatory fine structure is hedged enough to allow discretion.

                So in summation, I agree with you that the Rice matter is not direct authority with respect to evaluating Smith’s suspension (but it might be used as weak persuasive authority regarding seriousness of conduct, even by an attorney), and that trying to reconcile the two is counterproductive. However, I do not agree with assertions many are making that the controlling documents required the commissioner’s office to issue a specific discipline. On their face, the controlling documents always reserve discretion to the commissioner, even where they seem to establish a framework (such as the banned substances and illegal drug sections of the substance abuse policy).

                Or, if you prefer a shorter and more targeted response to the actual language of your question,then yes, an attorney may point to other sentences issued by the court, even in different types of offenses, if so doing illustrates a possible unfairness in sentencing with respect to the relative perceived severity of the different offenses. However, one would only do so if no direct authority (i.e. comparable sentencing for similar or related offenses) existed.

                Lastly, I am pretty much in agreement with the commissioner’s office that 5 games is reasonable for the weapons conviction (I thought 4, but 5 is close enough). What surprised me was the substance abuse policy portion of the discipline. However, the substance abuse policy is clear that the commissioner’s office can consider alcohol related unlawful activity even if the sentence is diverted (the first DWI) or the defendant pleas nolo (the second DWI), as well as admitted instances not charged AND instances that the leagues investigation may discover. The commissioner may consider the totality of the circumstances for all incidents, not just a particular incident (as would be the case under the criminal justice system, another issue that renders such comparisons largely non-productive), and I suspect that totality may involve admitted or league discovered alcohol related issue beyond what was charged/publicized. In this context, the 4 games for violation of the substance abuse policy makes sense, even taking into account the five game voluntary (but paid) leave last season.

              5. Exgolfer,

                Let me preface my comment by stating that while above I wrote that using the criminal justice system as an analogy for commissioner issued discipline is inapt, given the discretion enjoyed by the commissioner, when arguing severity of offenses, than the criminal justice system does provide a meaningful framework for the discussion.

                What Rice was charged with and pled to was misdemeanor assault. From a criminal justice perspective, it may not, depending on the jurisdiction, be as severe as a second DWI (and we must remember the terms of the Florida diversion program in which Smith participated indicate that even though the final conviction was not for DWI, that it could still be considered with respect to subsequent DWIs) or as severe as weapons violations. While it may not make us happy or fit our sense of fairness to victims, the reason for this is that crimes that are a greater danger to society (DWI, banned weapons, etc.) may be considered more severe than non-injury assault charges targeted toward a specific individual.

                Or put another way, the types of offenses with which Smith was charged regularly result in harsher criminal penalties than the type of offense with which Rice was charged. This is the same dynamic as with the commissioner’s discipline. Maybe it should not be the case, but it is.

  47. 9 games? Fair? Just? maybe not in either case…but, Aldon Smith took a 4 game suspension last season and learned absolutely nothing from it…..maybe this time he’ll realize that just because his name is Aldon Smith and that he works (plays) for the San Francisco 49er’s has absolutely no bearing on the ramifications of unacceptable off field behavior……is Goodell sending a message? perhaps,,,,,..Maybe if Mr. Tagliabue had a little less tolerance for poor behavior of NFL players, things would not have excalated to the stage they’re at today.

      1. But Goodell said he would take those five games into consideration, didn’t he?

        Maybe he forgot. I mean, 14 games seems excessive.

  48. Anthony Davis tweets #Free99 and #FreeAldon. (He’s always good for a few)

    I’m hoping the 49ers quietly parlay the suspension into a siege mentality and come out swinging.

  49. Going to be real interesting to see how the NFL is going to handle the Isrey problem. Violated league substance policy, we will see how that is handled.

  50. Grant

    Do you know anybody with enough clout to actually get Jed or Goodell or someone with authority to read and respond to BigP’s comment above. It is succinct and deserves a response from the league. Here it is for those who don’t want to scroll:

    “Goodell should be ashamed of himself. He has dropped the ball with discipline. Aldon deserves to be suspended, no doubt.
    Michael Vick was only effectively suspended for two games after going to prison for purchasing property solely for the purpose of running dog fighting rings. He raised dogs from birth to be killers, gave them steroids and purchased other animals just to be torn to pieces by the dogs in training. When he found the dogs no longer useful, he didn’t simply put them to sleep, he body slammed them, electrocuted their testicles, lit them on fire and hung them. He lied to Goodell’s face about it as well. His actions were inherently evil.
    Ray Rice knocked his wife out cold in an elevator and proceeded to drag her out of it and dump her on the floor. His behavior showed that he was not concerned for her well being, he was worried about his career. His wife was out cold on the ground and his first reaction was to look around for cameras. He doesn’t deserve to be called a man because he isn’t one. He’s a coward and his actions prove it. Rice was suspended for ….two games. Smh.
    Plaxico was suspended four games for shooting himself in the leg. Josh Gordon and Justin Blackmon are suspended indefinitely due to substance abuse issues. They need help and could be a positive example of what that help could provide. Aldon hopefully will become a good example for people with substance abuse issues. Goodell has dropped the hammer on young men who need help and spanked the hands of men who committed truly appalling acts. He’s a joke and only started to take action after people let him know it.”

  51. The way the commissioner dealt with these suspensions is no different than the way the NFL deals with making and enforcing rules of play. How can the commissioner and the league expect accountability from players if they do not also hold themselves accountable. Those in charge should hold themselves to a higher standard than those under them. These things reflect a misconception of what constitutes good leadership that everyone has bought into. Our economic woes and break down of social values is a reflection of this type of distortion of the relationship between leadership and accountability. Doc I agree with you in principle but I see the main cause of the problem being the disconnect between responsibility and authority.

  52. To those who want to talk about Aldon without talking about Rice; you can’t, and you shouldn’t want to. While the two incidents are different, and independent, the NFL and Goodell had an opportunity to make a clear statement on domestic abuse, and failed. Any after-the-fact amendments to the domestic abuse policy that fails to also amend Rice’s suspension misses the point. Rice needs to have his suspension lengthened, and no amount of substance use is sufficient to equate to a similar penalty. There is something sick about allowing Goodell’s policy change and apology to stand without amending Rice’s suspension, because while it may act as a deterrent, the actual culprit is allowed off scot-free. It’s disgusting.

      1. When I put Rice’ two game suspension next to his violent deed against a defenseless women, using the not getting away scot-free description just doesn’t appease my need for real justice.

        Rice may not have gotten away scot-free, but I would have to say that he likely considers himself as the luckiest player in the NFL in the wake of the Gordon and Aldon verdicts.

  53. Hey Grant,

    I don’t know if anyone asked this, but if Aldon isn’t getting paid during his suspension, does that mean that the roughly $1.3M won’t count against the 49ers’ camp?

    Just wondering if they can spend that money on say signing bonus for Crabtree’s extension.

    1. I was wondering the same thing. I heard suspensions do not provide cap relief, but a quick web search shows websites (like Ninersnation) saying Aldon’s suspension will provide cap relief.

      I’m surprised if it does. What’s to stop a team swamped with a bad contract from ratting out its own players as a sneaky way to create cap space?

    1. I don’t recall the exact wording from Goodell, but I don’t think he ever said he would get credit for those five games. I think he simply indicated that his decision to seek help would be considered in any suspension. Many 49er fans have mis-interpreted that to mean he would get 5 games off whatever suspension was meted out.

    2. The common speculation is that Aldon got paid for all five of those games and they might not have counted as much as one would have liked. There’s other speculation that he could have received a full year and it was cut down to 9 games. The truth is nobody really knows but the 49ers and Goodell.

    3. Jay, here’s your answer as to why the 5 games in 2013 don’t apply to the NFL.

      Tuna, remember how this all started out: when Aldon made the decision to go to 5 weeks of voluntary rehab in 2013 it had NOTHING to do with the NFL. He was trying to stay out of jail. Those 5 weeks had nothing to do with the NFL.

      What Aldon did with regard to his multiple and serious run-ins with the law was exactly what his good LA attorney told him to do. It goes like this: Attorney to Aldon: If you don’t have a drug problem better get one b/c you are checking into rehab. By doing so Aldon was acknowledging to the court that he had a drug problem and was taking the necessary steps to correct it and hopefully the court would grant him leniency.

      Aldon got 3 years of probation and so many hours of community service instead of jail time. I remember you and I discussing this b/c the jail time seemed minimal and once you’re on probation, if you screw up you’re screwed.

      In 2014 Aldon received a 9 week suspension and the good news is he has access to the 49ers’ facility and training room.

      Look I understand you all feel that Aldon didn’t get a fair deal when you compare his 9 week suspension to Rice’s 2. But Aldon has a long rap sheet with repeated offenses and he’s serving a 3 yr. probation. The message is loud and clear from the NFL: get your life together or you’ll be suspended for life.

        1. Jack: I saw where you asked a question sometime today. The answer is case law: law established by judicial decision in cases.

          I see the outrage everyone is feeling now. The severity of the Rice case is truly horrific and I just know by watching the video it was not a first time occurrence. The only difference is that Rice’s gf/wife now never pressed charges and he’s treating it as a first time offense. But I do think 9 games is pretty stiff.

  54. Well, from all the arguments laid down by people that are up in arms about the length of Aldon’s suspension, it overwhelmingly appears to be a case of not liking that Ray Rice only got 2 games.

    So a question for you all. If Ray Rice had never done anything, would you still see the 9 game suspension as too much? Take the Ray Rice suspension out of the equation and does Aldon’s suspension still seem unreasonable?

    It is a valid question as Goodell has come out and accepted he dropped the ball with Rice, that he got it wrong. You may not like it, but because he has acknowledged his error, the Rice suspension should not be used as a barometer. Sure, it sucks that Aldon didn’t get “lucky” like Rice did, but letting a second guy get off with a lenient suspension to try and cover up the first mistake is not a good solution.

    1. Yes, I do. Aldon essentially missed 14 games. By not taking those games into account teams will understand there is no reason to take immediate corrective action regarding their players.
      Do you see a player voluntarily missing games for rehab in mid season again? And if they wanted to can you envision teams/owners not trying to talk them out it?

      1. If you believe Aldon missing those games was a ploy to avoid suspension then sure, you are likely correct that teams won’t do that again. But if that is what the 49ers were trying to do then I’m glad Goodell didn’t fall for it.

        If teams are hoping to help their players seek help for a problem then yes, I imagine teams will continue to provide them with leave from the team to seek the help they need.

    2. Scoot

      You can’t analyze Aldon without “Hey Diddle Diddle.” Aldon deserved a harsh sentence, but you’re falling for Goodell’s intended diversion. “I’m sorry I let the wife-beater off (essentially) scot-free. Now, don’t consider it anymore.” NO!!! The only solution is to amend Rice’s suspension to a full year. That’s it, that’s the only solution.

      1. Yes Hooey, you absolutely can divorce one sentence from the other. Aside from Goodell acknowledging he made a mistake (and thereby the suspension for that type of behaviour wouldn’t be so light again in the future), Aldon’s was a very different situation with multiple and different offenses.

        I understand the attraction of comparing the suspension to that of Rice, nothing better to salve such a wound than blame it on double standards and hypocrisy. But the truth of the matter is that Aldon screwed up multiple times and is getting a punishment that is pretty much in line with punishments to other players with similar offenses.

        1. I think the comparisons (with Rice) are inevitable, but they pass judgement on Goodell and the League, not strictly the Aldon case. A judge in a court case asks the jury to consider issues in a narrow focus according to points of law. Public opinion refuses to ignore the other issues. Since the NFL is in the entertainment business, the public are stakeholders whose opinions matter. The cash cow gets fiesty once in a while.
          One possibility in regards to the games Aldon sat out last year is that as in the Rothlisberger case, the Commish can relent a few games later. I don’t expect that. I think the NFLPA intervention broke new ground and the NFL said “OK, but…” and didn’t want to look like they were caving.
          Inconsistency IS a problem for credibility.

    3. Scooter:
      “So a question for you all. If Ray Rice had never done anything, would you still see the 9 game suspension as too much? Take the Ray Rice suspension out of the equation and does Aldon’s suspension still seem unreasonable?”

      Speaking for myself, I would not be happy with the length of Aldon’ suspension, but eventually I could come to grips with the fact that Aldon’ off field issues certainly had the potential to lead to such discipline. But that would be view if as you say, “take the Ray Rice suspension out of the equation.”

      The problem I have here is that you can’t take Rice out of the equation because the punishment process in his case was abundantly flawed. When the process is flawed in one case, it’s very difficult to embrace and trust the process going forward.
      That’s my sentiments.
      After Goodell’ colossal error in the Rice case, I find it hard to trust his actions in any disciplinary decisions after that.

      1. Scooter,
        to further my contention that the league office has a disciplinary standard which is flawed here is an excerpt from Goodell. First comes a discretionary apology, then comes a new rule in implementing disciplinary actions on domestic violence.

        “At times and despite our best efforts, we fall short of our goals. We clearly did so in response to a recent incident of domestic violence. We allowed our standards to fall below where they should be and lost an important opportunity to emphasize our strong stance on a critical issue and the effective programs we have in place. My disciplinary decision led the public to question our sincerity, our commitment, and whether we understood the toll that domestic violence inflicts on so many families. I take responsibility both for the decision and for ensuring that our actions in the future properly reflect our values. I didn’t get it right. Simply put, we have to do better. And we will.”

        “Violations of the Personal Conduct Policy regarding assault, battery, domestic violence and sexual assault that involve physical force will be subject to enhanced discipline. A first offense will be subject to a suspension of six weeks without pay. Mitigating circumstances will be considered, and more severe discipline will be imposed if there are aggravating circumstances such as the presence or use of a weapon, choking, repeated striking, or when the act is committed against a pregnant woman or in the presence of a child. A second offense will result in banishment from the league; an offender may petition for reinstatement after one year but there is no assurance that the petition will be granted. These disciplinary consequences apply to all NFL personnel.”

        My issue is that a six game suspension without pay for a first time violation seems very lenient. Sure, there are mitigating circumstances wrapped into this rule, but it only took Ray Rice (1st time offender) one punch to knock out a women in an elevator where he thought no one could see him.
        It only takes one punch from an athlete to brutally injure a person. For an athlete to only receive a six game suspension for striking a women because he is a first time offender is incredulous at best.

        Again, the process is flawed.

    4. Scooter— Goodell acknowledging his error in the Rice case was purely a face saving device. The public outcry against his 2 game suspension pretty much forced him to admit the mistake publicly. What remains is that he was so obtuse as to have made that decision to begin with. That decision is a truer refection of his sense of justice and priorities than his admission after the fact. The point is that someone who needs a huge public outcry to recognize ( maybe?) that a two game suspension in that case was a mistake should not be in his position as commissioner. It reflects a disconnect in respect to being able to recognize what is fair and just.

      1. My argument has nothing to do with whether Goodell deserves to be ripped for his mishandling of the Rice case. He did. The public let him know he did. And he has taken steps to make sure that never happens again. Yes, I am sure it was face saving measures he took, but who cares when in comes to Aldon’s case?

        I understand people saying they don’t “trust” Goodell to then make a fair decision with Aldon, but again I say, if you divorce yourself from the Rice case, is 9 games for Aldon’s laundry list of issues that unreasonable? Basing your defense solely on “but he only got 2 games” is about equality. There is no equality here, I agree – different levels of hammer being brought down that don’t seem to add up given severity of the individuals’ actions. But on its own merit Aldon deserves a lengthy suspension.

        1. Yes, but if there’s a six game suspension for a first domestic violence offense, doesn’t nine games for AS seem like too much? Keep in mind the six game suspension is after RG “got it right”.

              1. Does it? Multiple DUIs, including one where he crashed and rolled his car. Could easily have seriously hurt or killed someone, himself included. And illegal possession and discharge of automatic weapons at a party in which he was stabbed. Another case where someone could easily have been seriously hurt or killed.

                How does that “pale in comparison” to domestic violence? And I’m not trying to diminish domestic violence – it deserves to be dealt with harshly. But how is punching someone so much worse than what Aldon has done, cumulatively?

                And if you think Ray Rice’s offense is so much worse than Aldon’s, how do you feel about what Ahmad Brooks did last year breaking a bottle over Mike Purcell’s head? At the heart of it, the only real difference in what Brooks did and what Rice did is that Brooks didn’t hit his spouse. Brooks and the 49ers were very lucky nothing much ever came of that.

              2. Scooter, I’m sure you didn’t intend to diminish domestic violence, but I kind if think you did.

                Smith COULD’VE hey someone, Rice DID hurt someone.

              3. Fair enough. Just like I think you have diminished Aldon’s offenses, even though you don’t intend to or believe you have.

                Malice or intent to injure another is a good argument for why Rice’s offense is worse. But I still think repeatedly putting other people in harm’s way through reckless behaviour is just as bad, and can have significantly worse outcomes.

  55. I guess my biggest problem with this is that while Aldon honestly deserved a decent sized suspension for his actions. His actions were in fact immature, stupid, and completely wrong but they lacked malice. Rice knocked out his wife… there is clear intent to hurt someone when you throw a punch like that.
    While Aldon endangered others lives by driving drunk, his intent was most likely not to hurt someone. Furthermore he checked himself into treatment as he realized how big of an issue alcohol had become for him.
    Goodell could have recognized this as an attempt to correct his lifestyle and offered to fine him for those games missed while tacking on a few more for this year. By taking this course of action players and more importantly teams will have no incentive to take these type of corrective steps, as they will understand they most likely will only miss additional games by doing so. So when the Leveon Bell’s get busted for driving high, they will continue to play until the sentence is handed down rather than take immediate corrective actions as that would let down their teams even further.

  56. Too much. I’m all for fair play and abiding by the law, but the legal system has opined here and the NFL’s desire to act as social arbiter is unnecessary and frankly inappropriate. At some point the NFLPA is going to get it’s act together and tell the league to stop playing judge and jury after the jury has already come in. The league has a natural obligation to protect the integrity of the game – gambling, steroids/hgh (unless you want to watch super-humans play the game, not humans), etc. But drunks and reckless drivers? There’s a system to handle that, and it has evolved from 2500 years of western civilization, and Goodell cannot legislate away human frailty with a few suspensions. Gilding the lilly for PC purposes is nonsensical…unless you’re simply worried about the marketing issues, aka the Almighty Dollar.

    1. Lol knowing the inside and outs of unions, I’m betting this one isn’t Ny different than any teamsters union. In fact of like them to stay out of it. They’re the main reason we will never see traditional football again. It’s all a corporate joke. Money and greed. Yep the NFL got to big.

  57. After the Ray Rice backlash and rewriting the rules two days ago. Is this really a suprise? Is it an eye opener that this dip**** would throw the book at the next man up to save his image? He’s on the mt Rushmore of tyrannical devils like the Rockefellers amd other offshore bankers. Absolute fraud in every sense of the word. Running a billion dollar soft as gel league. And built it up to be the biggest thing in America since the internet. Basically it’s a Wall Street wolf running a once proud game.

    I’m not upset at Aldon getting suspended. I’m upset with the propaganda of it all. No way I can’t think it’s not rigged. Name me a huge corporation that isn’t. Smh!

      1. So it’s a far reach to think Goddell came down harsh on the next man up to help his image? Is it really crazy to think that? With this guys antics over the years?

  58. Well my take, ill miss aldon, but i saw it coming. Rather he was convicted or not, he was teetering on pac man jones territory! Guys, Aldon stayed in trouble the past 2 years. Thats why the nfl has a personal conduct policy. All he had to do was get help. Wich apparently he has done now so i applaud. Im just glad the niners haven’t given up on him. And everyone should be glad it wasn’t the whole year, Because that Is next.

    Now alot of people are pissed at goddell be of the ray rice thing, understandably, but where players and owers screw up is by not implementing a domestic violence policy before they signedthe cba and eespecially after that idiot Javon Belcher killed his girlfriend. So maybe goddell is trying to save face, but the fact of the matter is aldon has his own responsibilities, and hopefully he has hit rock bottom, because then there is no place to go but up. Get well aldon. Prayers are with you that you fight these demons and find responsible friends to lean on when in need. See you in 9 weeks. Hopefully a better man

  59. Interesting how a DUI (which isn’t good), smoking dope (s legal in some states) and carrying firearms (encouraged in Texas) are 7x worse than beating your wife in an elevator. Goodell is a moron. Get some structured, consistent rules in place, just like any other organization.

  60. The next time Goodell steps in front of the podium for the draft, he’ll be booed incessantly for 30 seconds or longer….

  61. Curious to see who made the team.
    My questions….
    Will Lloyd make the team
    Who will be the 3rd receiver
    Will Tank see some significant playing time this season..
    Will we see a lot more 4-3 since Aldon is gone.
    Who will be sent to the PC or waived if Boone actually signs.

        1. No. I like James and Smith over Winston.

          Does he make it back? I don’t know, but backs like him are a dime a dozen.

          1. Really? A 220 pound back that runs in the 4.38-4.42 range, puts up 35 reps at 225, a vertical of 38, and broad jumps 10′ is a dime a dozen. Interesting…..

            1. They really are. Running is almost an afterthought at the NFL level because most of the backs can do it. It’s the knowledge of assignments, blocking, blitz pickup and receiving that keeps these guys on teams. He is talented, but how many RB’s have you seen tear it up during the preseason? Quite a few. Coffee, Hampton and Clayton come to mind. It’s hard to find guys that can do more then one thing well, hence the running back by committee approach.

    1. He won’t make it to the practice squad. He runs violently. LaMichael is lucky that he is the only change of pace back on the team otherwise they would have kept Winston.

      Unfortunately Roman doesn’t know how to utilize change of pace backs. He only understands how to utilize guys like….. Winston.

  62. Watching my Bruins. Hundley seems to have same issues as last year. Great tools, but can’t make lightning quick decisions, and is just a little bit inaccurate. Sound like anyone we know?

  63. I just read that Aldon waived his appeal rights so that there is a possibility to reinstate him earlier than 9 games for good behavior.
    Any truth to that?

    1. I was under the impression he had a short, intense appeal process. If he waived his appeal rights maybe time off is a possibility.

  64. MM says Long Snapper McDermott waived. I’m surprised. They wouldn’t have messed with the position unless they really liked dual role player Kyle Nelson. With Mangini as TE coach, the position might get more emphasis (despite the logjam of WRs)

  65. Yeah Grant. Get off the babysitter and write us a 53 man roster please. Not one of your stir it up write ups either.

  66. What do you think the Niners are looking for on the cut list? NT? RG? Winston was just cut by Seattle. Wonder if we are interested for depth.

  67. The Mc Dermott cut is pretty shocking. They made a huge noise last year that he was such a special player. They said guys like this only come along every few years or so, otherwise they wouldn’t have cut Jennings.
    I think it is because the tight end position outside of Vernon Davis, has been a negative for the 49ers the last few seasons. When you try to make Dobbs a tight end that is a sign of desperation….

    1. Hate to see a TE get nicked in a game, then suddenly be without a long snapper. Happened to Parcells once. Had to finish a game without punting or kicking.

      If Kyle Nelson gets hurt, who is the backup long snapper?

  68. Just over 2 hours to go, and it looks as though my theory regarding the retention of JJ and Gabbert is so far so good. My thinking was the competition could continue until Aldon or another player is activated from the injury list….

  69. ALDON SMITH DESERVES EVERY BIT OF THE NINE GAME SUSPENSION!! Your only complaints is that the other players got off lightly. Just because they got off lightly doesn’t mean Aldon sentence is wrong. Its the other sentences that are wrong. That’s what you should be screaming about. And your all correct there has to be something done about guidelines, I know Goodell addressed it but its going to need some tuning up.

    Hopefully you all don’t have to suffer the pain of losing a loved one, especially from a drunk driver. Aldon is the lucky one here. It was only a tree this time, it could of been his life or worst yet someone else’s life. Only until you lose a loved one will you ever understand what I am trying to say. I am thinking Aldon doesn’t ever again drink and drive and if that occurs then those nine games will mean a great deal.

    Oh and GHOST I never have tried to piss up a rope, maybe someday you can give me a lesson. You know Ghost I never make fun of anyone on this site, I don’t post here much anymore due to the juvenility of people such as yourself with your/their witty comments that bring nothing to the table except emptiness between the ears.

    1. Under,

      You may be right if you look at Smith’s offenses in a vacuum. The thing is, we don’t live in a vacuum. The penalties for both Rice and Smith were handed out by the same guy, within a short time of each other, and you’re going to say don’t compare? Sorry, that’s not likely to happen.

      And are you trying to say that what Smith did was worse than what Rice did? It may be potentially worse, but it wasn’t worse. If you don’t believe me, ask Rice’s wife.

  70. So did Chase Thomas make the team? He was all over the field Thursday night. Cut by three teams last season, what changed for him?

    1. Good observation. Some of these guys will return in week 2 with smaller contracts.

      Another influence today is the rookie cap. Those year 1-4 players have alot more roster value compared to a few years ago. The big losers are the average veterans.

    1. That’s looking like a strong possibility.

      Funny, I had guessed that he’d be an UDFA that would unexpectedly make the team, but I had guessed that it would have been as a kick returner. He definitely surpassed expectations.

  71. Can’t believe they cut Snyder. Don’t the Niners need versatile linemen? This destabilizes the line, and with Boone out, the line is even worse. Guess they didn’t want to pay him.

      1. I agree it will be an OL. No way they go into the season with just 7 (unless I’m forgetting someone?). Very surprised to see Snyder, Bykowski and Seymour all gone. Thought one of them would stick.

  72. Eventually goodwill. Has to deal with the image problem of the nfl. It’s the most popular sport but also the most dangerous and violent. Concussions, players beating up wives, guns, etc. I’m not worried about the nine games, it’s going to come down to the two games against Seattle end of the year to see where the teams are. Every season there are surprises. The new defensive holding rule is going to Help proven passers like Rodgers and Brees and knows maybe even Dallas with romo and Bryant, stafford and megaton, or Matt Ryan and Julio jones.

  73. Gone so far… Glenn Winston, Carter Bykowski, Shayne Skov, Asante Cleveland, Kevin McDermott (big surprise), C.J. Spillman, Kassim Osgood, Alfonso Smith, Adam Snyder (surprise), Bubba Ventrone, Lawrence Okoye
    Will Tukuafu, Michael Philipp, Al Netter, Mike Purcell, Ryan Seymour

    Hoping Winston, Skov, Okoye make the PS.

    Snyder could return in a day or so.

    I’m expecting one of Ventrone, Osgood or Spillman to return week 2.

    My biggest disappointment was no LMJ trade. Hunter’s injury and Lattimore’s recovery nailed him to the roster. I hope Winston clears waivers.

    1. It’s hard to fathom why the team is hanging onto James. Aside from one good run where he had a huge hole open in front of him, he really did nothing against the Texans in the run or return game. He’s been nothing but a dud that whines on social media for some playing time yet never tries to earn that right.

  74. From Matt M.

    The 49ers must make five more roster moves. Thus far, there have been no confirmed reports on the following “bubble” players: WR Lance Lewis, WR L’Damian Washington, DE Demarcus Dobbs, OLB Chase Thomas, CB Kenneth Acker, CB Perrish Cox, CB Chris Cook.

    I am betting Lewis, Washington, Thomas and not sure on the CB’s situation.

      1. I personally prefer Cook to Morris, but maybe we need another slot guy and ST’s ace? Better size and he’s shown improvement.

              1. My outside, smokie chance for the 8th OL spot is….

                Alex Boone!!! They are creating some cap space with the Ray McDonald restructure and letting go some vets…

            1. Their best option would be Snyder, but I don’t expect him to be out of a job for too long with teams like the Bucs and Chiefs having woeful offensive lines.

              1. As a veteran, does Snyder go through the waiver system? I don’t think he does. If the 49ers want to re-sign him I’m sure they’ll already be in talks with his agent.

              2. I never said that he would have to go through the waiver system Scooter, but I do think that he won’t be back mainly because the two teams I mentioned earlier can offer him a starting role.

              3. Wasn’t trying to suggest you were – it was just a question. If he could be claimed off waivers then the 49ers would have no chance. But I’m pretty sure he can’t be claimed, so the 49ers can be working on a new contract with him right now.

              4. Sorry Scooter. It seemed like you were.
                I agree that the team could be working on a deal with Snyder, but I also think that he’d jump at the chance of being a starter again on another team.

              5. No worries – do you know if I am right about Snyder (or any vet, i.e., with 4 or more years accrued) not going through the waiver system?

                You are no most likely right, if Snyder gets offered a spot somewhere where he has a decent chance to start he’ll probably take it.

  75. I think CB spot is going to come down to Cox and Cook, and its going to depend on if they feel Ward or maybe Morris are ready to play nickel. Personally hope Cook makes it, he’s played too well in preseason not too but I don’t expect any of the younger guys to get cut.

    1. It would appear McCray will make the team too, for now at least. Will be interesting to see which of the remaining DBs are let go, if any.

        1. Agreed – though I’m a little surprised. Every other team seems to be able to get the young guys they want to develop to be core STs players, if Seely is as good as advertised I see no reason he shouldn’t be able to get them to play well.

    2. No surprise about Acker. I think the team learned its lesson from last season.
      Not surprised about McCray either. He exceeded expectations and looks to be a solid if not better replacement for Spiller, who was classified by some sources as a 9-5 type player.

    1. Maye Acker has something similar to Okoye’s case of “Happy Knee” he had last year.

      IR – Acker, Tukuafu, Hunter, Jacobs, Fonoti

      PUP – Bowman, Celek, Ramsey

      NFI – Lattimore, Millard, Reaser, Thomas

      Slick Baalke stashes 12 players on injury lists. I’m a fan, but I wonder if the league will ever start examining the process.

  76. Lance Lewis, L’Damian Washington, Darryl Morris and Chase Thomas all released.

    Will Tukuafu and Kenneth Acker both placed on season sending IR.

  77. Not too happy that Morris got cut, had real potential and played very well this preseason. Knew someone talented was going to have to go but I thought his versatility and upside would keep him on the roster.

    1. No one will need to be cut to make room for Boone. They will have an open roster spot tomorrow when they place Dorsey or Martin on short-term IR.

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