-- Talented but troubled linebacker Aldon Smith will get a chance to resurrect his NFL career in the Bay Area.
In a surprise move on the cusp of the regular season, the pass-rush needy Oakland Raiders have signed Smith to a one-year deal, ESPN's Adam Schefter confirmed. Bleacher Report first reported the story.
Despite his off-the-field issues, Smith will be eligible to play Sunday, league sources tell Schefter. The Raiders will consider playing Smith, depending on his conditioning.
The San Francisco 49ers released Smith on Aug. 7 after being arrested the night before on hit-and-run, driving under the influence and vandalism charges. It was his fifth arrest since 2012.
Smith, 25, also spent a month in treatment during the 2013 season. He was suspended for nine games last season.
The expectation around the NFL is that Smith will be suspended again this season, but he is eligible to play until a suspension is announced.
While signing Smith is murky, there are plenty of football reasons for Oakland to sign Smith. The Raiders had just 22 sacks last season, tied for the second fewest in the NFL. Smith has 44 sacks in 50 regular-season NFL games.
Smith will team with second-year player Khalil Mack to assemble a promising pass-rushing duo assuming Smith will be eligible to play a significant portion of the season for Oakland.