The former prolific pass rusher, Aldon Smith, whose off-the-field issues sidelined him the last four seasons agreed Wednesday to a one-year contract with the Dallas Cowboys.

The deal between Smith and the Cowboys is worth up to $4 million between a $2 million base salary and $2 million in potential incentives. It includes no guaranteed money, representing a high-reward lottery ticket.

The 30-year-old pass rusher was drafted in 2011 at the No. 7 overall draft pick. He recorded 33 1/2 combined sacks in 2011 and 2012, an NFL record for most sacks in the first two seasons of a career since the statistic was first tracked in 1982. However, His struggles with mental health, substance abuse and legal troubles, however, derailed his career and resulted in an indefinite suspension. Smith has received several months of “clean tests,” a person close to him said Wednesday evening. Alcohol has been considered his greatest substance issue. Smith is hopped to be reinstated before the 2020 season. His contract with Dallas will begin only upon re-entrance into the league.

In order to make sure Smith continues to make off-field strides with his mental health, the Cowboys and Smith’s agent Ron Slavin, who is based in Dallas, have made arrangements to ensure Smith will receive the proper resources to allow him a chance to maintain these off-the-field strides upon returning to football.


If everything stays in check, Smith will be a new vital asset to the Cowboys. Dallas is in much of a need for a defensive end, especially after defensive end Robert Quinn’s departure last month to the Chicago Bears. New Cowboys defensive line coach Jim Tomsula was the San Francisco 49ers’ defensive line coach for the entirety of Smith’s four-year tenure with the organization. Tomsula’s history with Smith is believed to have played a vital influence on the decision.

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