Should the Jets make a play for Aldon Smith?


Jan 19, 2014; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Seahawks tackle

Russell Okung

(76) defends against San Francisco 49ers linebacker

Aldon Smith

(99) during the first half of the 2013 NFC Championship football game at CenturyLink Field. The Seahawks defeated the 49ers 23-17 to advance to Super Bowl XLVIII. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Everyone on earth by now knows about the legal troubles of Aldon Smith.  The question is not if, but when Smith will be suspended from the NFL?  I would assume in the near future as it would be for conduct detrimental to the team/league.  He is clearly a troubled player, and has had run ins in college, and since turning pro. The most serious of incidents to this point is of course his saying the word bomb in an airport. I don’t know the specifics, so it would be counterproductive to speculate what he said exactly.

I did look up the legal aspect of this, and if convicted of an actual crime it could be under 18 U.S. Code § 1038 – False information and hoaxes, which would basically be any hoax that could be taken seriously and threaten people, or cause public disturbance or injuries. Under that context the fine would be a combination of $250,000 and/or imprisonment of up to five years.

I’m just guessing, but I think the guy wouldn’t do any real jail time.  I would guess he will be fined heavily by the judicial system, and in turn be suspended by the NFL.  Assuming these two things, my next logical thought would be that the 49ers are more aware of this fact than I am.  They are preparing to play 2014 without Smith.

That’s where the Jets come in.  The Jets can at least put a feeler out to trade for Smith.  Why is this in the Jets best interest? New York has been in need of a viable pass rusher since John Abraham was traded over a decade ago.  We have had Vernon Gholston, Calvin Pace, Jason Taylor, Brian Thomas, and more trying to generate double-digit sacks. None of these have really panned out, although some have been productive against the run, and decent in coverage.

That being said Aldon Smith is only 24 years old.  He’s not a flash in the pan or one year wonder.  He’s produced 14 sacks his rookie year, 19.5 his 2nd season, and 8.5 sacks last season despite playing in 11 games and being injured.  This guy is the pass rusher Jets have been waiting for.

There are plenty of assumptions to go around, but this is a guy who will be fined heavily, both from the legal system and the NFL.  He will most likely be on probation or community service.  Does it serve the Jets to the trade a late round draft pick and a conditional pick in a future draft for this player? I say absolutely and unequivocally yes.  There are stronger veteran players like Calvin Pace that can be placed in a mentor role of Smith at this point.  There are familiar players like Sheldon Richardson whom played with Aldon Smith at Missouri.  It’s a change of scenery, albeit on a brighter stage.  All of which lead me to believe that Aldon Smith will come out of this on the back-end a better human being and more professional player.

If San Francisco is ready to deal Smith now, I would hope that Idzik would mortgage one of those 4th round picks for him.  Even if Smith is suspended for the entire season, he would still only be a 25 year old pass rusher in 2015 with 42 sacks under his belt, that the Jets would own the rights to.  That is also worst case scenario.  Best case is he is suspended for 4 or 8 games, and he could be used during a playoff push. In either scenario, the Jets are a better team to invest in a player and try to do everything to get him on the straight path, while providing an edge rusher that hasn’t been seen in over a decade in New York.