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NFL declines to reinstate Aldon Smith, will revisit case in March

Mike Florio and Stats look at some of Week 17's biggest matchups including the Raiders vs. Broncos and Patriots vs. Dolphins games which could decide AFC Playoff Seeds.

The good news is that Raiders linebacker Aldon Smith finally has gotten his answer. The bad news is that he and plenty of Raiders fans won’t like it.

Per a league source, the NFL has decided not to reinstate Smith for the remainder of the 2016 season. Instead, his case will be revisited on March 15, 2017.

Smith was permanently banished from the NFL in November 15, with the ability to be reinstated after one year. He applied for reinstatement in early October. At one point, it was argued that the Commissioner has only 60 days to make a decision; that position was proven to be incorrect based on the strict language of the substance-abuse policy and, ultimately, the fact that a decision wasn’t made within 60 days.

Smith’s status had become an afterthought for a Raiders team reeling from the broken leg suffered by quarterback Derek Carr on Christmas Eve. If the Raiders are going to make it back to the Super Bowl, they’ll be doing it without Carr or Smith.