49ers release LB Aldon Smith after fifth arrest in three years
Aldon Smith, the 49ers linebacker who has been plagued by off-field issues during his NFL career, was arrested Thursday night.
The 49ers have finally decided that enough is enough with Aldon Smith. The team released Smith on Friday following his fifth arrest in three years.
"This organization has tried very hard to help Aldon fight his issues. Although he is no longer a member of this team, our support and concern for him will continue," the 49ers said in a statement.
Smith was arrested Thursday night by the Santa Clara Police and charged with hit and run, DUI and vandalism.
From the PIO: SCPD arrested Aldon Smith last night for Hit&Run, DUI, and vandalism. A press release will be provided later this morning.— Santa Clara Police (@SantaClaraPD) August 7, 2015
ABC7 News' Matt Keller reports that Smith was still in custody Friday morning, and that bail had been set at $26,000.
Smith was drafted seventh overall in 2011 and had an immediate impact. He set the rookie sack record (14), and the 49ers' single-season sack record (19.5) a year later. But after appearing in 32 games in his first two NFL seasons, he played in just 18 games the last two years, mostly due to off-field issues, including a nine-game suspension in 2014 handed down by the league.
Smith was previoulsy arrested for DUI in January 2012, suffered minor stab wounds during a party in June 2012 (he also faced felony assault weapons charges, which were reduced to misdemeanors). In September 2013, Smith was again arrested for suspicion of DUI and a short time later he entered rehab. In April 2014, Smith was taken into custody at Los Angeles International Airport and charged for a false report of a bomb threat, though the charge was later dropped.
At the time of the LAX arrest, 49ers general manager Trent Baalke came to Smith's defense.
"We're a family," Baalke said. "You don't just open a door and toss people out of it."
Smith added at the time: "I'm a good person, and the people who know me know I'm a good person. Maybe after this is over, you can tell your friends I'm a good person. Anybody who hangs around me can tell that. A lot of these things are being painted in a picture that's not true.”
Meanwhile, the 49ers' run of bad luck (perhaps brought on by poor decisions) continues:
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