Aldon Smith has had one of the strangest NFL careers in recent memory. The Missouri product burst onto the scene with historic numbers in his first two years in the league, generating a whopping 33.5 sacks. That's the most sacks anyone has ever recorded through their first two seasons, beating out NFL legends like Reggie White (31.0), Derrick Thomas (30.0) and Von Miller (30.0).
Things went off the rails from there, though. A litany of off-field issues threatened to ruin what looked like a future Hall-of-Fame career. Smith missed 21 combined games over the next three seasons and was out of the league from 2016-19.
But he finally got back on track in 2020, recording 5.0 sacks for the Dallas Cowboys while appearing in all 16 games. Still just 31 years old, Smith can help a pass-rush needy team in 2021.
News of the Cowboys electing to move on from Aldon Smith was announced following the original publication of this article.
Here are the three most likely free-agent destinations for Smith.
Aldon Smith Rumors
3. Dallas Cowboys
Things went really well for Smith in Dallas, so a return to the Cowboys can't be ruled out. Dallas pressured opponents at a below-average rate last year, and losing Smith certainly wouldn't help matters. Re-signing the veteran could give a real boost to a pass-rushing unit that sorely needs one.
2. Seattle Seahawks
The Seattle Seahawks have spent a good chunk of resources upgrading their pass-rushing unit this offseason. But none of those additions have the upside that Smith brings to the table. It's unrealistic to expect him to completely turn back the clock at this point, but a healthy Smith might be the best pure pass-rusher on Seattle right now. He'd be a nice under-the-radar addition for the Seahawks.
1. Kansas City Chiefs
The Kansas City Chiefs have a good-to-great pass-rush already. Chris Jones is a game wrecker on the interior, and Frank Clark has proven to be a rock-solid edge rusher. But there's not much pass-rushing talent on the other side of the line. Smith has a higher ceiling than any other available free-agent edge rushers, making him a potential X-factor for Kansas City. GM Brett Veach has no problem taking a gamble on talented players, and few have as much raw ability as Smith.
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Max Staley is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Max Staley also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username mstaley1212. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.