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Del Rio responds to Aldon Smith’s release, takes aim at NFL rules


Aldon Smith was released by another Bay Area team on Monday morning, when the Oakland Raiders elected to part ways with the former NFC Defensive Player of the Year following an alleged domestic violence incident on Saturday. Smith had already been suspended since November of 2015, but remained on the Raiders’ roster until Monday.

Former Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio was dismissed by the team for issues on the field last season, after the Raiders disappointingly finished with a 6-10 record in 2017. The team signed Smith during Del Rio’s first season in 2015, and the linebacker played nine games under Del Rio before he was suspended for a hit-and-run incident.

Del Rio took to Twitter on Monday afternoon to give his take on the Smith situation, specifically to criticize “league rules” that eliminate the ability for teams to offer players like Aldon help.

League rules specify that when a player is suspended by the NFL, they are not permitted to be in contact with anyone from the organization, except for the Director of Player Engagement. This is not the first time Del Rio has complained about these rules. He expressed a similar sentiment at the NFL owners meetings last year, saying he could help Smith if given the chance.

““It’s a little bit frustrating to not be able to be a part of the process,” Del Rio said. “My feeling is that I can help him, but the experts know, the experts don’t allow that. I just have to follow the rules.

“It does get frustrating to not be able to help a young man, be unable to provide support, structure. Somebody else has to make those decisions. It’s out of my hands.”