Earlier tonight, we learned that the NFL has suspended Raiders linebacker Aldon Smith for one calendar year, meaning that he cannot return to the gridiron until November 2016. Smith’s deal with Oakland only lasts through the end of the 2015 season, but based on the joint statements issued by the player and the team Tuesday night, it sounds like a reunion is very likely.
“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,” the Raiders said in the press release.
Smith, meanwhile, said that he looks “forward to rejoining the team next year.” Here’s more out of the AFC and NFC West:
- Malcom Floyd, 34, has said all year that the 2015 season would be his farewell tour. However, after suffering a serious shoulder injury, Chargers teammate Antonio Gates doesn’t see that as a certainty. “Now, I think there’s a little doubt in his mind because of how he went out,” Gates said, according to Michael Gehlken of U-T San Diego. “I put more doubt in his mind because I want him to come back. I’m like ‘Dude, you can’t go out like this.'” Meanwhile, sources familiar with Floyd’s thinking tell Gehlken that the odds of him returning in 2016 are no longer zero.
- The Rams‘ extension with Nick Foles calls for him to earn a guaranteed $6MM roster bonus due on the third day of the league year, a source tells Mike Florio of PFT. The Rams can avoid his modest $1.75MM salary (guaranteed for injury only) by cutting him, but they cannot get out of paying that $6MM bonus. In theory, the Rams could trade Foles and rid themselves of that expense, but it seems unlikely that they’ll find a taker after Foles was benched in favor of Case Keenum.
- Foles isn’t happy about being benched, but the Rams quarterback respects Jeff Fisher’s decision, as Florio writes. “You don’t expect [to be benched],” Foles told reporters. “It’s just one of those things that — I respect Coach Fisher to start off. Of course, I want to be out there, but it’s his decision to make, and I respect it. I love Case [Keenum] to death. He’s one of my favorite people in the world, so I’m going to be right there to support him every step of the way and help him in any way possible.”