PHOENIX – Raiders edge rusher Aldon Smith has been banished from the NFL for over 16 months now as a repeat offender of the league’s substance abuse policy.
Commissioner Roger Goodell hasn’t ruled on Smith’s reinstatement application and it’s hard to imagine movement coming soon on that front after a pair of recent run-ins with the law.
He was reportedly involved in a domestic incident and was questioned by San Francisco police last month. Then he was a passenger in a vehicle that hit an unmarked police car on March 10, an incident where the driver was arrested on suspicion of DUI. Smith seemed out of sorts when interviewed by media after emerging from a San Francisco police station.
Smith’s banishment states he can’t have contact with Raiders personnel outside the director of player engagement, a stipulation head coach Jack Del Rio has criticized in the past.
He did so again Tuesday at the NFL owners meetings, saying it’s unfortunate the organization can’t support Smith during difficult times.
“It’s a little bit frustrating to not be able to be a part of the process,” Del Rio said. “My feel is that I could help him, but the experts know. The experts don’t allow that. We have to follow the rules.
“It does get frustrating to not be able to help a young man and provide support and provide structure. Somebody else has to make those decisions. It’s just out of my hands.”
The Raiders can’t petition for greater involvement, and are therefore in a wait-and-see mode regarding their troubled, yet talented player.
“He has to get himself together,” general manager Reggie McKenzie said. “(Smith’s status) is totally on the league office. They know more than what we know.”
PHOENIX – Raiders quarterback Derek Carr will soon enter a contract year. There is zero chance he becomes a free agent.
The Raiders plan to work out a contract extension with their franchise quarterback this offseason, and have budgeted appropriately for what will assuredly be a massive deal.
Both sides want to get a deal done, and general manager Reggie McKenzie said there has been good communication toward that end. This should ramp up, however, later in the spring.
There isn’t a huge rush and Carr isn’t pressing to get a deal done.
“He knows what we’re trying to do in free agency, and he’s never saying, ‘I need to know now. It’s not like that,” McKenzie said. “More likely, the serious talks will happen after the (NFL) draft. The communication has been ongoing, just talking about the philosophy of a contract and the thought process around it. Hopefully when the serious talks start going, then it’s going to be easier.”
Carr is the first of three extensions the Raiders hope to complete with players from McKenzie’s revolutionary 2014 draft class.
Edge rusher Khalil Mack will get a huge deal in time, though the Raiders can exercise a fifth-year option in his contract for the 2018 season. McKenzie also said the Raiders would like to extend right guard Gabe Jackson, a three-year starter who has been a rock on the interior offensive line.
Those three guys won’t be cheap, which is why the Raiders were more conservative in free agency than years past.
“We’re going to try and get our quarterback signed. We want to get Khalil signed , and at the same time we’re trying to sign Gabe,” McKenzie said. “You have to allot some money for those guys. With that being said, we didn’t have the opportunity to go after guys like we did last year, at those numbers.”