Clifton Brown: ‘Smith’s Got A Serious Alcohol Problem’

The San Francisco 49ers released Aldon Smith on Friday, this after the linebacker was arrested on hit-and-run and vandalism charges. Smith also received yet another DUI, his third.

And now, the former first-round pick is out of the league.

“My first reaction is really it’s just sad,” CSNBaltimore.com NFL writer Clifton Brown said on CBS Sports Radio’s Ferrall on the Bench. “The guy sounds like he’s in desperate trouble. I don’t know all the details. I heard you use the word ‘allegedly.’ We don’t know all the facts. None of us were there. But for a guy that’s already been in so much trouble involved with alcohol, to be involved in something like this – which seems like another very serious situation – it sounds like this guy’s got a serious problem, can’t handle it on his own, is a danger to himself and to others. So this is way beyond football. I hope the guy gets his life together, whether he ever plays in the NFL again or not.”

Brown believes that Smith, 25, will be suspended for at least a year.

“I don’t see how you could see him in an NFL uniform in the 2015 season,” he said. “Hopefully he would spend the 2015 season getting treatment, counseling or whatever else he needs. After that, if his legal situation is cleared up and if he’s not suspended – which I think he probably will be – if he’s reinstated by the league, then yeah, at that point, he would still be young enough and talented enough where I’m sure a lot of teams would be interested. But if you’re going to have Aldon Smith on your team now, it’s pretty clear you got to have some strong structure to help him. He’s going to be doing well at the time that you sign him. It seems to be a situation where at any point – I think of Josh Hamilton in baseball – at any point, something could go wrong. So that’s what you’re dealing with when you’re dealing with Aldon Smith.”

In addition to multiple DUI charges, Smith has faced felony weapons charges, made a false bomb threat at Los Angeles International Airport last summer and reportedly got into a practice altercation with Colin Kaepernick.

It just seems like this guy never learns. Is he stupid?

“You can say that,” Brown said. “But to me, he’s got a serious, serious problem with alcohol. And when that happens, once you are extremely intoxicated, you make terrible decisions. That’s part of what goes along with it. Sometimes I think people look at it like, ‘Okay, the guy’s drunk, but then why is he making all these stupid decisions?’ Well, a large part of the reason he’s making these decisions is because he’s doing it while he’s extremely intoxicated. So it takes your reasoning away. It’s not just that you’re drunk, can’t drive, can’t talk straight. You don’t think straight, either. If you’re in that state every day – as I suspect he is once he falls off the wagon – then he’s just a ticking time bomb.”

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