Aldon Smith Getting Fresh Start with Young, Talented Oakland Raiders Pass Rush

This is scary in two different ways. 

First, the Oakland Raiders signing pass-rusher Aldon Smith is scary for the obvious fact that the 25-year-old has been arrested five times since 2012 and is currently facing unresolved DUI, hit-and-run and vandalism charges. 

But it's also scary because Smith, who according to Bleacher Report's Jason Cole signed a one-year contract with Oakland on Friday, is a 25-year-old with as much pass-rushing talent as any edge-rusher in football. 

That explains why, according to NFL Media's Ian Rapoport, Smith was in high demand despite his track record off the field, choosing to sign with the Raiders over the Jacksonville Jaguars, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and St. Louis Rams. 

Yes, at least 12.5 percent of the league was pursuing a man who could face jail time and/or a lengthy suspension and who has started just 14 games over the past two seasons. It's amazing what some front offices are willing to look past in order to win, and the reality is the Raiders are fully aware that Smith can help them win in a big way. 

That fact isn't lost on head coach Jack Del Rio, who commented on the signing via the team's website: "Aldon is an extremely talented young player. We welcome him to the Raiders family and expect him to bring his best every day and be a great teammate."

This is, after all, someone who went seventh overall in the 2011 draft, recorded an insane 33.5 sacks in his first two NFL seasons and was voted by his peers league-wide as the second-best defensive player in football entering 2013. 

I wish I could alter the font size here to indicate just how big of an "if" Smith and the Raiders are dealing with, but IF—bold, capitals and italics will have to do—Smith can avoid missing a substantial amount of time when his current legal troubles are resolved an...

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