The Oakland Raiders signed troubled pass rusher Aldon Smith to a contract Friday, five weeks after he was released by San Francisco.
The 49ers cut ties with Smith on Aug. 7, a day after his fifth arrest since being drafted by the team in 2011. Smith was arrested in Santa Clara on charges of drunken driving, hit and run and vandalism.
The Santa Clara District Attorney’s office said that Smith was charged Friday with three misdemeanors relating to his latest arrest. The charges are driving under the influence with a prior offense, hit and run with property damage and vandalism. Smith will be arraigned on Oct. 6.
“We are confident that the Raiders provide an environment where Aldon can thrive through the support, structure and leadership within the building,” general manager Reggie McKenzie said in a statement. “We are excited to have Aldon here in the Raiders family.”
Smith, the former Missouri star who attended Raytown High School, was suspended for the first nine games last season for violating the NFL’s substance-abuse and personal-conduct policies. The league says he is currently eligible to play despite his latest arrest. But the NFL is still looking into that matter.
Smith is one of the most accomplished pass rushers when available. He had 33 1/2 sacks his first two seasons with the 49ers.
The Raiders needed an upgrade for their pass rush after recording a franchise-low 22 sacks last season.
“Aldon is an extremely talented young player,” coach Jack Del Rio said. “We welcome him to the Raiders family and expect him to bring his best every day and be a great teammate.”
Smith practiced on Friday in his familiar No. 99 but there was no immediate word on whether he would be able to play in the season opener Sunday against Cincinnati.
Smith previously was charged with three felony counts of illegal possession of an assault weapon, stemming from a June 2012 party at his house. He suffered stab wounds breaking up a fight at the party during which two people were shot.
Smith also was arrested for DUI in January 2012 in Miami and for DUI and marijuana possession in September 2013 in San Jose, Calif. The latter incident prompted a trip to rehab.
Smith was detained in April 2014 when he became belligerent with security officials and told a Transportation Security Administration agent he had a bomb at Los Angeles International Airport.
No formal charges ever were filed in that incident, but the NFL suspended Smith for the first nine games of the 2014 season for violations of the league’s substance-abuse and personal-conduct policies.