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.

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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,┬áSmith is a talented player with all the physical gifts to be a top pass rusher for years to come,┬áso 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.