Aldon Smith has run out of strikes – at least with the San Francisco 49ers.
The Niners cut Smith on Friday, this after the all-world linebacker was charged with vandalism, a hit-and-run and yet another DUI.
Smith, 25, was once a first-round NFL draft pick, an All Pro, a team MVP and an NFC Defensive Player of the Year. He’s also played in a Super Bowl.
Now, however, he’s a disaster.
“He’s a disaster (now and) he was a disaster before,” legal analyst Rick Horrow said on CBS Sports Radio’s Ferrall on the Bench. “The Niners appear to like him, but listen, the franchise is worth about $1.6 billion. It’s ninth in value out of anybody in the NFL. Their revenues are above $300 million. They can’t afford to screw around with image issues, especially since Super Bowl 50 is in their back yard and they’re coming off an unacceptable, mediocre 8-8 season. They replaced the legend now going to Michigan. Let’s see what kind of legend he is. But it’s now a time where Jed York and the franchise needs to take control of the image issues in San Francisco. I guess Aldon Smith just out-lived his welcome, regardless of whether this is deemed to be a DUI or not.”
Niners coach Jim Tomsula offered comforting words for Smith, saying the franchise would be there for him and that he’s not going to have to walk this road alone.
Scott Ferrall, however, thought it was all lip service. Las Vegas predicts the Niners will win 6.5 games this year. The 49ers don’t have time to worry about the mess that is Aldon Smith; they have to worry about the mess that is their team.
“It is a very gracious way to cut somebody and say get your life in order and we’re there for you in the sense that we wish you well,” Horrow said. “You’re right. There’s no hand-holding in football. He says that the truth will come out. Well, it might be fair to say that, but he’s run out of time with the Niners almost certainly. And if somebody picks him up, it’s going to be after the league weighs in on whether or not there’s going to be suspension in the first place. And if there is, it’s the third year in a row.”
Indeed, from DUIs to felony assault weapons charges to the false bomb threat at LAX, Smith has quite a checkered NFL past. You name it, he’s done it.
“It’s not just one thing,” Horrow said. “It’s guns, it’s bomb threats, it’s (an) alleged DUI – we’ll just say it that way – but there’s been issues of multiple kinds of offenses. And he may be his own worst enemy. Maybe he hits rock bottom. Maybe he realizes that he needs to get his life in order. And like I sad, he may play football again, but it’s certainly not going to be with the Niners and it’s certainly not going to be for much of this year.”