Raiders make it official: LB Aldon Smith signs; FS Reggie Nelson reportedly visiting

Aldon Smith signed a contract with the Raiders Monday. (D. Ross Cameron/Bay Area News Group)

Aldon Smith signed a contract with the Raiders Monday. (D. Ross Cameron/Bay Area News Group)

ALAMEDA _ The Raiders and Aldon Smith made good Monday on their promise to reunite at the time of the linebacker’s one-year suspension last November.

The Raiders announced Smith, who can’t play until November at the earliest in 2016 while he remains under suspension for violation of the NFL policy on substance abuse, has signed a contract.

A press release announcing the deal did not include statements from Smith, general manager Reggie McKenzie or coach Jack Del Rio. Smith is not expected to be made available for comment.

Terms were not disclosed, but it was reported by ESPN as a two-year deal.

Note: FoxSports reports it’s a two-year deal worth $11 million that can go as high as $19.5 million with incentives.

The move doesn’t come as a surprise, given that McKenzie and Del Rio have been consistent in their public stance on bringing Smith back. Smith, following an arrest for DUI, reckless driving and vandalism last August, was released by the 49ers and signed with the Raiders in September.

In nine games with seven starts, Smith had 3.5 sacks following a slow start after missing all of training camp.

Under terms of Smith’s suspension, the latest in a series of run-ins with the law involving the former first-round pick out of Missouri, he cannot apply for re-instatement until 60 days before the year is up and then his case will be reviewed by the NFL.

Smith must comply with all terms of the NFL policy until that time and could be denied re-instatement or at worse banned for an even longer period of time. At the time of his suspension, Smith said through a statement he wanted to return to the Raiders.

McKenzie and coach Del Rio echoed Smith’s wishes to remain with the organization. At the NFL owners meetings, both said they wanted Smith to work on getting his own act together before entering into a contract agreement.

According to ESPN, Smith was spotted at the team facility Monday. Under NFL rules, players under suspension can only be at the facility to speak with members of the team’s player engagement program for updates on their progress.

That makes Raiders director Lamonte Winston, their player engagement director, a key figure in assessing Smith’s state of mind and the viability of bringing him back.

Although Smith appeared to be rounding into shape as an effective player with the Raiders, at no time did he flash the kind of pass rushing skill which resulted in 42 sacks in 43 games with the 49ers from 2011 through 2013.

Ideally, Smith would emerge as an additional pass rushing threat past the midway point of the season to supplement defensive end Khalil Mack and newly-signed outside linebacker Bruce Irvin.

— The Raiders, according to an ESPN report, are looking at the possibility of replacing retired free safety Charles Woodson with Cincinnati Bengals unrestricted free agent Reggie Nelson.

Nelson, entering his 10th season, tied with the Chiefs Marcus Peters for the NFL lead with eight interceptions for 115 yards in returns last season for the Bengals. However, he turns 33 before the 2016 season and has found the market soft for his services.

With 12 interceptions and 27 passes defensed, Nelson is coming off the two best seasons of his career statistically.

Although Nelson has played the last six seasons with the Bengals, he started his career as a first-round draft choice out of Florida with Del Rio as his head coach.

Nelson had five interceptions as a rookie with Jacksonville, but clashed with Del Rio and the coaching staff and was shipped to Cincinnati after three seasons for cornerback David Jones and a conditional pick that turned out to be a seventh-round selection.

After one game, Del Rio publicly criticized Nelson for allowing a 65-yard touchdown pass to Reggie Wayne and benched him for the final two games of the 2009 season before being traded away.

Nate Allen is currently the most experienced safety on the roster, and third-year player TJ Carrie has played cornerback and safety.

— Defensive end Mario Edwards Jr. awaits another medical test regarding a neck injury that sidelined him late last season. Edwards expressed confidence of being available for the offseason and training camp but must be cleared by a doctor.

The Raiders’ offseason program begins April 18.





Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer

  • Guest123

    In round two maybe

  • marks hair

    Neither thanks

  • Cut Andrew East!

  • LB Raider (TUCK YOU)

    Like I said, BPA, first its Bosa, then Robert, per just about every draft expert

  • They can restructure Wilkerson if they get an extension on him and save millions in 2016 cap space.
    They won’t have issues. Lots of Guys like Geno Smith and other dudes I never heard of who they can cut and save between 800K and 1.5M.

  • timetojam

    bpa. all part of the strategy. get a player at any position

  • marks hair

    What’s Nelsons deal worth?

  • raidergrr

    Joseph. I think hes gonna be an Earl Thomas or better.

  • Oh. Fully possible out of nowhere. Media connects random dots all the time and blows it out of proportion. We “tried” last year, connect to cap room, connect to Wilkerson saying he likes what he sees over here BAM. Full fledged rumor mill. Plus this blog is talking about it 100x more than anyone else and we blow everything out of proportion.

  • irjonny

    in this scenario he loses no picks though. that’s kind of the allure of it

  • marks hair

    No such thing as cap hell

  • If they were gonna get Wilkerson resigned, it would have happened already. Obviously they have been trying that.

  • irjonny

    you’re not wrong.

  • Sir Raider Duck, OMS

    Still waiting for you to name one other current starting NFL long snapper who plays offense or defense….

  • raidergrr

    or Allen and Hayden …

  • Don’t be silly.

  • SaintKaufman

    Ok, this kid is buzzed as hell on the beach and it’s only 11am. (Wife makes some way too strong bloody marys) Time for some Bad Tenants!

  • easyant13

    Reggie has a standing offer in I’d bet, maybe the Jets will continue to get desperate

  • Lol.

  • Dakota


  • marks hair

    They could let him know the only team they’re willing to trade him to as the Cleveland Browns. That might give him some incentive to restructure.

  • irjonny

    in theory? i’d say he get 6-7 mil a yr from us the way the contracts have been trending

  • My argument isn’t that some do get snaps outside of ST, but rather that the old model (such as our backup C Adam Treu) needs to be reconsidered. 45 active players is a small number.


  • Guest123

    There’s been a run on long snappers. Bucs just signed their RFA Long Snapper a few minutes ago

  • Not at all true.
    Most franchise signed extensions don’t get done until mini-camp.
    Josh Norman, Von Miller, will be the same for them.

  • marks hair

    Anyone who thinks cap hell s a reality is silly.

  • easyant13

    Tell that to jets and ravens and saints and others

  • irjonny

    haha. that game with no backup LS we gave away was a lesson the entire nfl

  • Guest123

    Better get into the shade

  • And he’ll say ok. Play a year there and leave for a mega deal elsewhere. That’d work out great for him actually. Jets were mega stupid the way they handled this.

  • easyant13

    If you think you know something we don’t about football….. your silly

  • DutchRaid

    Lol, condo used to be listed as LS/LB on the roster…

  • Raider D

    Whatup Dudes!

  • BS, the rest of the NFL is smart enough to TRAIN a backup. Goethel was thrown under the proverbial bus.

  • irjonny

    man that was horrible

  • Now it’s “DE” LMAO

  • marks hair

    A one year problem is hardly hell.lol

    A lack of talent is a MUCH bigger problem than being over the cap for a yr.

  • easyant13

    Thats where I’d put it

  • sure but that’s not the case here. The Tagged him in hopes of trading him. They can’t afford to keep him, but they wanted to get something for him rather than let him walk.

  • Hehe.

  • marks hair

    Sorry kid but “cap hells” a joke.

  • Juice

    New post!

  • The rate of players who were franchised and traded is probably less then 1%, so I doubt that was there strategy.
    They couldn’t get an extension done, had the cap space to tag him so they did, and will work on an extension later on.
    If they let him walk next year, it will help in compensatory picks.

  • Yes, imagine how I felt. I went out in the yard and started snapping a football against the garage. It’s difficult to be as bad as TravisG was that day.

  • Yep. Only took us 2 years of deconstruction and two of rebuilding to get out of it.

  • Guest123

    Goethel looked like he didn’t care, and it was ominous that it was the first game of the Dennis Allen era

  • SaintKaufman

    YOOOOOO!! I’m spreading the word of Eloquent Scoundrels here on the Oregon coast! My head is spinning like a mofo bro!!

  • marks hair

    It only took us 1 year to get right with the cap. Building up Talent is a completely different topic.

  • easyant13

    Yes Miami and Baltimore let two of there best players se go seems like Denver didn’t want osweiler right?