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Around The NFL: Aldon Smith Leaves, Cardinals Dad Tragically Dies, Browns Eye Ben Tate

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By Danny Cox

HOUSTON, TX - SEPTEMBER 15: Ben Tate #44 of the Houston Texans turns the corner on Jason McCourty #30 of the Tennessee Titans as he breaks loose for a large run in the first quarter at Reliant Stadium on September 15, 2013 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)

Ben Tate (Credit, Bob Levey/Getty Images)

49ers Aldon Smith leaves team indefinitely for personal reasons

San Francisco’s linebacker Aldon Smith will not play on Thursday night against the St. Louis Rams as he is leaving for an indefinite period of time due to personal reasons. On Sunday night, Smith apologized for a recent single-car crash and for being arrested for DUI and marijuana possession.

“I apologize to the team and the organization,” said Smith, who had five tackles in the loss. “This is something that I will get fixed. I will do everything in my power to make sure this never happens again.”

The team is supporting Smith in his decision and they agree that he wants to fix his problem and they’re going to do all they can to help him. Smith will not be suspended by the NFL due to the collective bargaining agreement and league’s substance abuse policy.

Cleveland Browns eye Ben Tate and other moves in 2014 free agency

The Cleveland Browns got their first win of the 2013 season by defeating the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday. Still, they’re focused on other things such as next year’s free agency and who they’ve got on their radar. As of now, the biggest target is Houston Texans running back Ben Tate.

Sources say the Browns will aggressively pursue Tate, and after recently trading away Trent Richardson to the Indianapolis Colts, the prospect seems even more likely.

Richardson isn’t the only player that the Browns are willing to part with either. A number of sources say that some other Browns are on the block and anyone is up for grabs. It is said that wide receivers Greg Little and Josh Gordon are both fair game and the Browns are taking offers.

Cardinals Dan Williams’ father dies en route to watch his son play in New Orleans

Sad news out of New Orleans as Arizona Cardinals defensive tackle Dan Williams wasn’t with his team as they lost to the Saints. The Cardinals franchise allowed Williams to be excused from the game due to the sudden death of his father.

Thomas Williams had left the family home in Memphis with Dan’s mother and sister to head to New Orleans and watch him play against the Saints. The family got into a car accident near Jackson, Mississippi, and Thomas Williams did not survive.

Dan Williams’ mother and sister sustained serious injuries, but are expected to recover. Cardinals coach Bruce Arians said, “Our prayers and thoughts go to Dan.”

For more NFL news and updates, visit NFL Central.

Danny Cox knows a little something about the NFL, whether it means letting you know what penalty will come from the flag just thrown on the field or quickly spouting off who the Chicago Bears drafted in the first round of the 1987 draft (Jim Harbaugh). He plans on bringing you the best news, previews, recaps, and anything else that may come along with the exciting world of the National Football League. Danny is a freelance writer covering all things NFL. His work can be found on Examiner.com.

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