Aldon Smith, 11th overall pick in the 2011 Draft by the 49ers has been arrested at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) because he allegedly claimed he was in possession of a bomb. According to corresponding reports, Smith was randomly selected for further security screenings where he became irritated and uncooperative with TSA. He walked towards the next gate where he was met by Police and taken into custody.
Are you kiddin’ me?
What’s gotten into his head? Just last November, Smith pleaded not guilty to multiple felony counts, which included the illegal possession of an assault weapon. Additionally, Aldon Smith missed 5 games last season because of alcohol abuse and a DWI arrest in September. That night Smith’s truck smashed into a tree and he was subsdquently arrested for suspicion of driving under the influence and illegal possession of marijuana. Driving while intoxicated seems to be a reoccurring theme for Aldon, he was also arrested for drunk driving in Miami Beach in January 2012. Later that year, Smith was stabbed during a party at his own home. Weapons were also fired that night and bullets struck two people. One victim, Ronndale Esporlas, was shot two times and named Smith in a law suit for causing “serious, catastrophic and permanent injuries.”
United we stand
With all of Aldon’s run in’s with the law, the latest fiasco could (and perhaps should) trigger league punishment. The NFL has been lenient on Smith in the past, but this time they clearly MUST draw the line. He’s on the verge of causing serious harm to either himself or those around him. Something is wrong with Aldon Smith, now its the NFL (and the 49ers) responsibility to find the cause for his deviant behavior and correct the 24 year old before its too late. Coach Jim Harbaugh should sit his troubled player down with owner Jed York and explain he’s running on extremely thin ice.
Smith is on a path of self destruction and his only saving grace might be the leaders of the 49er organization. It’s the responsibility, if not their duty to protect those who play for them. Smith has put himself ahead of the team and it’s time he gets a needed wake up. I personally would indefinitely suspend Smith until he can prove to the 49ers and rest of the League that he is a changed man (similar to how Denver handled Personnel Director Matt Russell last season). Aldon’s #1 priority right now should be his own mental health and well being. The 24 year old has earned more money than most people will see in a lifetime and now appears bent on throwing it all away. The National Football League and the San Francisco 49ers must work together to ensure Aldon Smith comes out of his latest gaffe rehabilitated and matured. He’s got all the talent in the world, but repeated off field issues are crippling his long term career potential.
What next for the 49ers D?
With that, 49ers linebackers are dropping like flies. Star NaVorro Bowman went down in the NFC Championship Game tearing his ACL and severely damaging his MCL. Look for the 49ers to draft a pass rusher early in the 2014 NFL Draft – BYU’s Kyle Van Noy seems like a GREAT fit. It simply makes too much sense to pass on the Cougar defender and unless another team snatches him earlier, pencil in Van Noy to San Fran (he will NOT fall past them). If the 49ers feel no other choice but to cut ties with Smith, they lose one of the most dominant defensive players the club’s had in a VERY long time (42 career sacks in 43 games). Smith’s contract is also up after the 2014 season and there has been some recent debate about extending him before even reaching that date. He’s definitely a force to be reckoned with in the NFC West, but only if he can get on the field . . . and get his act together.
Follow Josh Elkin on Twitter @JoshElkin