Monday, December 22, 2014

NFL: 49ers' Aldon Smith suspended for nine games

San Francisco linebacker Aldon Smith drew a larger-than-anticipated nine-game suspension from the NFL on Friday, which will keep him out of the 49ers' Sept. 28 home game against the Eagles.

Smith, one of the league's top pass rushers, violated the NFL's substance abuse and personal conduct policies, according to a league statement.

It's not known whether Smith, a fourth-year veteran, plans to appeal the suspension. Smith, 24, would also miss games against the Dallas Cowboys, Chicago Bears, Arizona Cardinals, Kansas City Chiefs, St. Louis Rams, Denver Broncos, and New Orleans Saints.

Smith, 24, missed five games last season for treatment at an in-patient facility following a DUI arrest. Before training camp began last month, he was sentenced to three years' probation and to spend 11 days with a work crew after he pleaded no contest to drunken driving and weapons charges.

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Sam still on Rams

Facing a 4 p.m., Saturday, deadline to trim their rosters to 53 players, teams started making cuts Friday. Several prominent veterans and popular younger players were early victims.

In St. Louis, Michael Sam survived a round of 17 cuts by the Rams, ESPN reported. The team needs to cut five more players.

Bengals. Cincinnati released running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis, which was expected after they drafted LSU's Jeremy Hill in the second round.

Green-Ellis was Cincinnati's leading rusher each of the past two seasons. His role was reduced last year when Giovani Bernard joined the backfield. Green-Ellis ran for 756 yards and a career-low 3.4 yards per carry. He was entering the final year on his contract.

Buccaneers. Tampa Bay released Connor Barth, the most accurate kicker in franchise history. An 84 percent career field goal kicker in five seasons with Kansas City and the Bucs, Barth missed last season after tearing the Achilles tendon in his right foot during a charity basketball game. Rookie Patrick Murray replaces Barth, 28, who made a club-record 92.9 percent of his field goal attempts in 2011.

Jaguars. The Eagles' Week 1 opponent waived center Mike Brewster and third-string quarterback Ricky Stanzi.

Bears. Chicago waived former Northern Illinois star quarterback Jordan Lynch. A Heisman Trophy finalist last season, Jordan was trying to make the team as a running back after being signed as an undrafted free agent.

From Inquirer Wire Services
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