While Aldon Smith's DUI arrest Friday morning was hardly his first brush with the law, the NFL has no plans to issue any discipline at this point, sources said, following the normal protocol of waiting for the adjudication process to play out.
Had the 49ers handed down any discipline to Smith, selected seventh overall by San Francisco in 2011, the league would have supported them in doing so, but Smith is set to play Sunday against the Colts.
It is virtually certain Smith will be facing a suspension at some point, but given the timing of this arrest and the amount of time it generally takes for these matters to be resolved in the legal system, the odds of Smith sitting out any time soon are remote. As the league's policy on alcohol-related offenses states: “Discipline for a second, or subsequent offense is likely to be a suspension, the duration of which may escalate for repeat offenses.” For instance, receiver Vincent Jackson was suspended for three games after twice pleading guilty to DUI charges.
Smith was arrested Friday morning with his vehicle reportedly up against a tree with his foot on the accelerator. Police said he was over the legal limit in California and that he was also in possession of marijuana at the time. Smith was previously arrested for DUI in Florida (in January of 2012) and is also the defendant in two civil lawsuits stemming from a party at his home that involved a shooting.
There were serious character concerns about Smith coming out of Missouri and the NFL is well aware of his pending legal matters. To this point, Smith has not been found guilty.
Smith has been one of the most productive pass rushers in NFL history through the first two full seasons of his career. As per the new CBA he would be eligible to re-work his rookie contract following his third season in the NFL. However, like fellow elite pass rusher Von Miller, the succession of off-field issues could mitigate his immediate earning potential substantially pending the outcome of these cases.