Nearly two weeks after 49ers linebacker Aldon Smith was arrested at Los Angeles International Airport on the felony charge of a false report of a bomb threat, the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office announced Thursday that the case has been referred to the Los Angeles City District Attorney's Office for misdemeanor consideration.
It was the latest legal entanglement for the 49ers' former first-round pick, who was arrested last September on suspicion of DUI charges.
Shortly after the April 13 arrest, 49ers general manager Trent Baalke said in a statement that "We are disappointed to learn of the incident today involving Aldon Smith."
Days later, several sources involved with the team's decision making told MercuryNews.com's Tim Kawakami that not only has Smith lost the benefit of the doubt, he might not play for the 49ers in 2014.
Kawakami added that while this doesn't mean the 49ers will release Smith anytime soon, "...There is a weariness and frustration over Smith's behavior that I've never heard involving any recent 49ers player. Until this week."
"And this is coming from people with the team who defended Smith full-tilt after his DUI arrest last September and emphasized back then that he voluntarily was seeking help, which was a clear sign that he was ready to address his problems," Kawakami continued. "It's a very, very different tone now. Starkly different."
We could get some sense of just how committed the 49ers are to Smith's future in 10 days. The team faces a May 3 deadline to pick up his $9.75 million option for 2015. Kawakami hears the team isn't likely to do it, which means that Smith could be headed for free agency next March.