An already deep Seahawks pass rush added another accomplished player on Thursday with the signing of veteran defensive end Aldon Smith.
Smith, 31, revived his career with the Dallas Cowboys last year after being suspended the previous four seasons due to legal and substance abuse issues. After getting sober and being reinstated by the NFL, Smith had an impressive return nearly five years removed from his last game, starting all 16 games for the Cowboys and recording 5.0 sacks, 48 tackles and a team-high 14 quarterback hits.
"It's been a journey that's been filled with ups and downs," Smith told Fox Sports’ Jay Glazer after signing with Dallas last year. "During the journey, there have been some self-inflicted wounds, but in the process, I came out with a better understanding of who I am and what I want from my life. It gave me a greater appreciation for the game I've been blessed to play."
Smith, the No. 7 overall pick in the 2011 draft, was a dominant force early in his career with the 49ers, recording 14.0 sacks and 27 quarterback hits as a rookie. The following year Smith earned Pro-Bowl and first-team All-Pro honors, recording 19.5 sacks, 66 tackles and 29 QB hits. Smith added 8.5 more sacks in 11 games in 2013.
Smith joins a Seahawks pass rush that looks to be even deeper and more talented than the group that produced a league-high 34 sacks over the last nine weeks of the season. The Seahawks did lose their top interior pass rusher when they released Jarran Reed, but they have re-signed Carlos Dunlap II and Benson Mayowa; added Kerry Hyder Jr., who led the 49ers in sacks last season with 8.5; and they should be adding to the rotation 2020 second-round pick Darrell Taylor, who missed his entire rookie season with a leg injury. And, of course, there's also safety Jamal Adams, who led the team in sacks last year with 9.5, a record for defensive backs since sacks became an official stat in 1982.
A look back at defensive end Aldon Smith's first six seasons in the NFL. The Seattle Seahawks signed the former All-Pro on April 15, 2021.