The Aldon Smith Problem

The 49ers braintrust is spending what feels like the majority of its off-season plugging holes that are nearly causing the proverbial dam of trouble to buckle. What they’re finding out is that there’s just not enough fingers to prevent more holes from opening up.

Linebacker Aldon Smith’s recent arrest at LAX has created a full-blown fissure the likes of which will likely not be put together, unless he cleans himself up. The 49ers have absolutely had it with Smith and with good reason. How many more chances can they possibly give him? They welcomed him after his second DUI arrest and supported his stint at a rehab facility, but Smith clearly has a serious problem and needs professional help to get his life together. His reckless behavior is putting himself and others in danger.


Who mentions the word ‘bomb’ at an airport and not think that would draw some attention? The short answer: an unstable individual, who has zero concept of the gravity behind uttering this term. There’s indications that he may have been drinking earlier in the day, which makes this downward spiral all the more sad. Now is the time for the 49ers to draw the line with him and the LAX incident is the tipping point.

As the 49ers watch the legal process play out, there’s still a May 3rd deadline looming for them to pick up the 5th year option on his contract. According to my colleague Ian Rapoport, the 49ers have no plans to cut Smith, but how many games he misses is still unknown. Look, Smith is a talented player with all the physical gifts to be a top pass rusher for years to come, so cutting him never seemed like a viable option, but he can’t continue to go down this path. Let’s hope he finally learns to deal with his personal demons, for his sake and everybody else’s.


49ers-Panthers Thoughts | Will Selva

We can safely lay to rest any lingering chatter about California teams playing in freezing conditions after the 49ers and the Fighting Bolos both won this weekend. For the Niners, the stage is now set for a re-match of the Week 10 knucklebuster with Carolina in temps that will be downright tropical.


The 49ers will take on the Panthers again for a rematch.

When asked about seeing the Panthers again, Colin Kaepernick said it succinctly, “We owe them.” Yes, you do Colin and how. Kaepernick had one of his worst performances of the season. Just 91 yards and a pick in a 10-9 loss at The Stick. Give the Panthers stout defense credit, but this time around, Kaepernick will be brimming with confidence.

When he was standing in the pocket against the Packers, you saw his playmaking instincts shine as he galloped for almost 100 yards against Green Bay, escaping the pressure, extending plays on key drives, especially the last one that led to the Phil Dawson chippy. This is a much different team than the one that lost to Carolina the first time around.

`Kaepernick didn’t have Michael Crabtree back then, but he does now. Crabtree is becoming Kaepernick’s favorite target again, going off for 125 yards on Sunday and hauling in the clutch 17 yard grab on that critical 3rd and 10 on the final drive. The 49ers will also have a healthy Vernon Davis who suffered a concussion in that game against the Panthers. Expect a steady diet of Frank Gore as well. Sure he chewed up 82 yards versus the Panthers, but remember, he was invisible in the second half.