Falcons’ Dimitroff not interested in Ray Rice or Aldon Smith (for now)

The Falcons aren’t completely closing the door to former San Francisco pass rusher Aldon Smith but he likely will be suspended again by the NFL. (AP photo)

The Falcons aren't completely closing the door to former San Francisco pass rusher Aldon Smith but he likely will be suspended again by the NFL. (AP photo)

The Falcons aren’t completely closing the door to former San Francisco pass rusher Aldon Smith but he likely will be suspended again by the NFL. (AP photo)

Could linebacker Aldon Smith help the Falcons’ pass rush? Pending significant issues off the field, absolutely. Could Ray Rice help a team that currently is thin at running back? Probably.

But the team has no interest in Rice and is not considering making a move for Smith — at least not at the moment.

I asked Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff about both players on Monday. Rice has been without a team since Baltimore released him in September while he was serving a suspension for domestic violence. The Falcons lack a clear No. 1 runner and are thin in the backfield, with Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman out with hamstring injuries. But Dimitroff said: “We do not (have interest in Rice). … We’re happy with the development of our young guys at running back and we think our chemistry is right with this running back group.”

The situation with Smith isn’t as clear. He was one of the game’s premier pass rushers for San Francisco, accumulating 33½ sacks in his first two NFL seasons (2011-12) and getting 8.5 in 11 games in 2013. But off the field, he has been a train wreck. He has been arrested five times, including multiple DUI cases, weapons charges and most recently a hit-and-run and another DUI (which led to the 49ers finally releasing him).

Smith appears to be struggling with addiction issues, which would account for much of his knucklehead tendencies. He missed five games in 2013 following a DUI arrest and spent time in a treatment facility. He was suspended another nine games last year for violating the NFL’s personal conduct and substance abuse policy. It’s likely he will be suspended again, perhaps for the season. It wouldn’t be surprising to see him re-enter a treatment facility.

Dimitroff didn’t completely close the door to having interest in Smith in the future. But he said it’s a non-issue right now, which is the safest position to take.

“At this moment, we do not have an interest in Aldon,” Dimitroff said. “Is he a talented player? There’s no question about it. He obviously has some stuff that he needs to take care of and our focus is on the team. We’re encouraged by where we are with our pass rush.”

Falcons coach Dan Quinn, who saw Smith twice a year when Quinn coached in Seattle, echoed Dimitroff’s comments: “I don’t know all the details and where it goes with the league. I have a lot of respect for him as a player but he has a lot of stuff going on.”

There is a chance Smith won’t be playing for anybody this season.

Reader Comments 0

40 comments
DiMarti
DiMarti

after a bunch more losses this year, how much longer will arthur keep thomas around making bad draft choices??

mr spanky
mr spanky

Falcons are signing IK Enemkpali.  First defender Dummytroff has signed that has hit a QB in years...

Wilbo
Wilbo

Okay, now, any of you interested in bringing criminals & crazy people to the Falcons, take a look at what happened to the Jets, today, and tell me you'd still consider bringing Aldon Smith to Atlanta...

slydawg
slydawg

Ray Rice, chatacter-wise, will be okay going forward, but he may have hit the wall a year or two early for running backs. Stephen Jackson was 29-30ish when the Falcons acquired him and he was already finished.

What's most disgusting is there are average Joe's who do the same thing to women on a daily basis yet they are still getting meaningful work and a living wage.

slydawg
slydawg

Dimitroff isn't interested in any player who has not played for Wisconsin, Missouri, or Clemson or who does have a history of staying injured.

I make this comment in jest because I wouldn't be interested in Smith or Rice either at this point. Even if it was for salary cap reasons, Dimitroff wouldn't be interested.

GeorgeJetsen
GeorgeJetsen

Smart for Quinn to pass on now during his honeymoon phase but his position may change abruptly should Falcons find themselves 3-10 without a bonafied rusher on O or pass rusher on D.

Hell Horsey
Hell Horsey

HEADLINE: Falcons' Dimitroff not interested in winning, just stupid buzzwords and injured players

Wilbo
Wilbo

Damn!! As always, I was hoping the AJC had finally fired this boring, untalented doofus, but BUMMER here he is again.


The Falcons are tied for 16th in player arrests over the past 5 years. That's one very small thing to be proud of this perennially mediocre or worse team, but at least it's something.


if we're gonna struggle along, I say struggle along without any more criminals than necessary.


No to both these perps, especially Aldon Smith. That guy is just nuts.


Great comment below by intheknow10. 


No more criminals!

Jmonty
Jmonty

Great talents... Poor attitudes.  We have enough poor attitudes on the team.  No need for for more.

reckingball
reckingball

Smith reportedly hit a parked car while he was trying to park his vehicle. He left without leaving a note or reporting the accident. He later returned to the parking space, and was charged with DUI. The report did not say if he walked away or drove away after hitting the other car, and then returned.

AlwaysReady
AlwaysReady

Pumped in artificial fake crowd noise was worse than these two guys.

Dman
Dman

We need O-lineman more than anything right now. We addressed the defense and we have Antone "The Rocket" Smith at running back. Get O-Lineman to protect Matty Ice....

Rhetoric
Rhetoric

The Falcons will never take a highly questionable player, no matter how talented. They are more concerned about team chemistry and their image than winning championships. This goes for college players also. They could have selected Tyrann Mathieu of LSU. but chose not to do so.  The Falcons will give you a chance if you have a DUI.

David McCallum
David McCallum

Please Falcons management. Let these young running backs and linebackers corps do what he can. Aldon Smith is probably at a point in his life where he has to get his personal life back together. Football is the last thing this guy need. As for Ray Rice, he did something absolutely terrible. The Falcons really should stay away from this guy for a number of reasons, mainly that they have four young running backs who might be capable of getting the job done. The key, as usual, is the offensive line.

BLowE12
BLowE12

@David McCallum Plus, Rice is a 28 yr old back with old legs and a big price tag. I would stay away for those reasons more so.

Kenny Powers
Kenny Powers

The Falcons aren't taking any questionable people. Especially guys that have the nuclear heat Ray Rice has and the utter disregard for himself that Aldon Smith has.

DiMarti
DiMarti

ATl will take anybody good--they are desperate for stars on that bad roster.

AtlantaSportsVictory
AtlantaSportsVictory

We won't touch Aldon Smith with a 10-foot pole, that was kinda silly to ask him because you knew the answer before you asked him.


Ray Rice is a different story. We don't really have any veterans at running back, and we know that Ray Rice has(had) worked out for at least a couple teams. I would be open to working him out, but honestly I'm not sure how much better he is than Steven Jackson or other veterans who didn't take last year off. 

intheknow10
intheknow10

You sports freaks are the reason that these overpaid idiots continue to act like kids with no common sense or rules.  Are you suggesting that there are absolutely ZERO other position players out there that would fit the team instead of these two sociopaths?  Let these cretins rot in hell.  And, to the commenter that says we should think of Ray Rice's wife and kid - give me a break.  HE chose to disregard them.  Why should we think differently?  He can get a job selling cars or moving heavy objects at a warehouse.  The Falcons have plenty of on-field issues without adding in the complexity of these off-field foibles. 

bigeasy830
bigeasy830

Ray Rice barely averaged 3 yards per carry his last year, He is done. Aldon Smith is an idiot, what makes anyone think he will change, He is also done. As Mike Singletary said it, "Can't win with guys like that, can't do it".

RichardKPE
RichardKPE

There's one thing that gets lost in the discussion of Ray Rice: in the year leading up to the domestic violence (I wonder how much money the NFL poured into that investigation considering the millions spent on air pressure?) Ray Rice...STUNK!!!  Should a team pick him up?  No...because he's DONE!


Aldon Smith is more interesting.  There's a legitimate risk, but also a big time reward.  I'd sign him at the right price, but I'm not sure what that price would be.

wizatlanta
wizatlanta

So goes our Disneyworld football franchise.  Never want to take a player that has any baggage as if it makes the Falcons seem better than others.  Wins and championships make you better than others and we've gone lacking in both departments under A. Blank and Dimitroff.

DawgNole
DawgNole

@wizatlanta

Lacking in championships under Blank and Dimitroff???

Hate to break the news to you, but we've "gone lacking" in championships under EVERY regime the Falcons have EVER had. EVER!!!

freezboy
freezboy

The only sentence for this is..."Not at this time"

CynthiaTuckerrhymeswith
CynthiaTuckerrhymeswith

Gee, just looking at the tally sheet objectively, it seems Rice is getting a comparatively bad deal.  A habitual miscreant and a danger to everyone around him verses a guy who flew off the handle and coldcocked his mate once (well, once on video).

Smith I understand - he'll wind up in jail or dead in an alley somewhere - and probably pretty soon.  Rice?  Not so sure.


All that said, the Falcons DO need a pass rush....

JackClemens
JackClemens

Should it matter that continuing to blackball Ray Rice also hurts his wife and child? I kind of think it does.

ATL89
ATL89

@JackClemens Actually, Ray Rice's wife and child would come out better if they left him, there is something called spousal support and child support, not to mention if she filled a lawsuit for physical abuse.

ATL89
ATL89

Aldon Smith may get picked up by the Cowboys, Pats, or the Raiders, but Ray Rice is never going to play in the NFL again.

Crazy-Catfish
Crazy-Catfish

@ATL89 said thing is this smith kid has screwed up so many times it's unbelievable and gets chance after chance..


Ray rice had one incident.. know it was a big one and inexcusable but still this is the only mishap he has ever had and his career and future is forever ruined.. 


i think it sucks..and not right..


not condoning violence especially on a female but i can move on and forget with a zero tolerance policy in the future..


smith will never be more than a coke head and will probably get 2-3 more chances.

nick1234
nick1234

@Crazy-Catfish @ATL89 its all because we have seen what Ray Rice did. We didn't see Aldon's DUI's and we haven't seen Greg Hardy slam that woman on a bed of guns!

BostonBullDawg
BostonBullDawg

@nick1234 @Crazy-Catfish @ATL89 Drug addiction (although all I have read about was alcohol) is WAY different than beating-up-women addiction.  Smith deserved his second chance.  Rice deserves none. 

DawgNole
DawgNole

@BostonBullDawg

Smith deserved his second chance???

How 'bout his fifth chance?

Did he deserve that one?

Earhardnt_Fan
Earhardnt_Fan

They nedd 2 do sumtim R there gonna loose all there games