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Raiders' Aldon Smith receives 1-year suspension

By
The Sports Xchange
New Oakland Raiders defensive lineman Aldon Smith puts on his helmet to play the Cincinnati Bengals at O.co Coliseum in Oakland, California on September 13, 2015. Smith is eligible to play until at least his Oct. 6 court date while the NFL investigates his most recent off-field incident: a trio of misdemeanor charges, which led to his release this offseason by the San Francisco 49ers. Photo by Terry Schmitt/UPI
New Oakland Raiders defensive lineman Aldon Smith puts on his helmet to play the Cincinnati Bengals at O.co Coliseum in Oakland, California on September 13, 2015. Smith is eligible to play until at least his Oct. 6 court date while the NFL investigates his most recent off-field incident: a trio of misdemeanor charges, which led to his release this offseason by the San Francisco 49ers. Photo by Terry Schmitt/UPI | License Photo

Oakland Raiders outside linebacker Aldon Smith was suspended a minimum of one year by the NFL for violating the substance-abuse policy, the league announced Tuesday.

He will be eligible to apply for reinstatement 60 days before the one-year ban is up.

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The Raiders issued a statement that read: "Aldon has been a positive addition to the Raiders. He remains prominently in our long term plans and we will continue to support this member of our family as he gets the help that he needs."

Smith said in a statement released by the team, "First, I want to thank the Raiders, my teammates, the fans, our coaches and our owner for supporting me throughout all of this. I am taking this time to work on myself and become the man I need to be, my team and organization needs me to be, and I know I can be.

"I had lost my love for the game and it led me to some poor choices, but I am thankful to the Raider organization for believing in me this season and will continue to better myself and grow from my experiences. I look forward to rejoining the team next year."

Smith, who was released by the San Francisco 49ers in August following a string of off-field incidents, pleaded not guilty in September to hit and run, drunken driving and vandalism. The 25-year-old was arrested in August on drunken driving charges in Santa Clara, Calif.

Previously, he was suspended nine games in 2014 for what the league called violations of its policies on substance abuse and personal conduct.

Smith was also arrested in April 2013 at Los Angeles International Airport after being uncooperative during a random secondary screening while passing through security.

A first-round pick out of Missouri in 2011, Smith has 3.5 sacks and 28 tackles in nine games for Oakland this season and 47.5 sacks in 59 career regular-season games.

Smith is currently second to Khalil Mack (5.0) in sacks for the Raiders this season, but now will be ineligible to play until late November 2016.

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