New York Giants

Recent speculation has the New York Giants interested in much-maligned pass rusher Aldon Smith. We examine why this is a terrible idea.

By Robby Sabo

It’s often said that an offensive or defensive unit is only as strong as the weakest link on the field. If 10 players do everything right while one guy lags behind, the entire play or scheme can blow up in smoke.

Football units are designed to be well-oiled machines with responsibilities and principles attached to each individual person.

The same can be said for the weakest player in terms of character in the locker room.

Take all the great leaders from NFL past. Guys like Dick Butkus, Ray Lewis, Tom Brady and Johnny Unitas policed the locker room better than most. Still, if there was a guy in that locker room who was such an outsider and drain on team characteristics, these greats could only do so much.

News that the New York Giants are now interested in Aldon Smith brings up such conversations.

Jordan Schultz of the Huffington Post has reported that there are several NFL teams interested in obtaining the services of the much-maligned former San Francisco 49ers pass rusher. One of these squads is none other than the Giants.

On the surface it makes complete and total sense. With Jason Pierre-Paul dangling in uncertainty due to his July 4 fireworks incident, New York is in desperate need of a pass rusher – a difference maker along the edge who can wreck games.

Even with Big Blue finishing fourth in the NFL last year with 47 sacks, nobody currently holds the feeling that their pass rush is ready for a new season without JPP.

Smith – even counting 2014 which only saw the 25-year old play seven games due to suspension – has compiled 44 sacks in just 50 games. His dominance had him on track to be a Pro Football Hall of Famer.

The match of Smith and the Giants seems too perfect in the football sense. In the real world sense, perfect couldn’t be further from the truth.

Mind you, we’re not discussing a youngster who happened to make one awful mistake which led to his release from the team who drafted him. This wasn’t one of those party nights leading to an indiscretion that forced his employer to re-evaluate things.

We’re talking about a guy who’s already had multiple chances to get his life in order. We’re discussing a young man who’s been arrested an obscene amount of times in a short span.

In 2013 he was arrested for DUI, missed five games, and checked himself into a rehab facility. Last season Smith was suspended for nine-games in conjunction with the league’s substance abuse policy.

Now this, his third arrest for DUI which also includes a hit-and-run and vandalism charges.

Should Jerry Reese actually go after the troubled NFL star, they’ll be sure to get their ducks in a row. The organization will preach the importance that Smith needs to, first and foremost, get his life back together away from the football field first. Then, and only then, will football become important again.

Should the Giants pursue this in a legitimate manner, they’ll view it as a long-term investment. After all he’s only 25, and almost a sack-per-game over 50 games is stuff legends are made of.

However, should New York seriously consider this, they’ll be going against everything they stand for throughout the NFL community. They’ll be violating their own terms under “The Giants’ Way.”

Since the days of the great Wellington Mara, this organization has always taken pride in how smoothly their operation ran. They did things from the top down the right way, only hiring the right people. This includes players, even in today’s landscape.

Smith just isn’t worth the massive headache. Thoughts of a serious problem attached to the kid are now running rampant through the league. It’s a sad story, but one that has already proved to show the kid’s character – that he’s not ready yet to welcome the help he needs.

Let’s not forget how hard NFL commissioner Roger Goodell is going to come down on Smith in terms of suspended games. If there’s one guy in this league this side of Josh Gordon who couldn’t afford another misstep, it was Aldon Smith.

Tom Coughlin and company need to go to war with the guys they currently have in the locker room. The guys who’ll do the right thing on a day-to-day basis and back each other up at every turn.

We all hope Smith cleans up his act and finds a way out of this mess, for every one of us deserves a second chance.

In the NFL though, sometimes you only get three chances, and Smith has used them all up.

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Robby Sabo is a co-founder, CEO and credentialed New York Jets content creator for Jets X-Factor - Jet X, which includes Sabo's Sessions (in-depth film breakdowns) and Sabo with the Jets. Host: Underdog Jets Podcast with Wayne Chrebet and Sabo Radio. Member: Pro Football Writers of America. Coach: Port Jervis (NY) High School. Washed up strong safety and 400M runner. SEO: XL Media. Founder: Elite Sports NY - ESNY (Sold in 2020). SEO: XL Media. Email: robby.sabo[at]