Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports
I was hoping my first commentary of this year's training camp would be a bit more positive. I was hoping to praise the defensive line for being a force through the first week of practice. I was hoping to see comments on how the new tempo of practice will translate into game management improvements. Sadly, Aldon Smith robbed me of that pleasure this morning.
Pardon my surprise when I woke up this morning to learn that star outside linebacker Aldon Smith had been arrested again for DUI. I couldn't help but let out the deepest of sighs, shake my head, whisper a curse word, and put my phone down.
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Aldon Smith is fundamentally broken. He either has taken one too many blows to the head over his stellar football career, or he just wasn't fully present when common sense was handed out. For all his given talent and potential, his biggest downfall is just his lack of good judgement. I'm not going to get into social issues like upbringing either. At some point, you have to grow up, put on your big boy pants, be a man, and a responsible adult.
Addiction issues aside, here is a man on the cusp of making 9.5 million dollars this season for simply performing decently. Even more, he was on the cusp on a lucrative contract extension that likely would have made him one of the highest paid NFL defensive players ever. This was the season for him to prove he could produce without Justin Smith next to him. All he had to do was go play and keep out of trouble. Aldon Smith has real talent on the field, the kind of talent you could compare to Charles Haley, Michael Strahan, or Lawrence Taylor when it comes to rushing the passer. That talent warrants that kind of contract he was in line for.
However, his decision making does not. No doubt the 49ers will let this play out in the legal system, but regardless of that outcome they will likely be without his services this season at some point due to a suspension. However, the 49ers don't have the luxury of employing Aldon Smith anymore, and will likely end up releasing him in a similar fashion to Ray McDonald and his domestic violence issues.
I'm not the smartest guy in the world and I will admit that readily. Shoot, I even like to have a few drinks with my friends and family on a regular basis. I could argue that I have a lot more to lose then Aldon Smith does if I get arrested for a DUI, yet I have the common sense to dip into my pocket and call a cab, Uber, Lyft, or a friend to come get me. I make half a percent of what Aldon Smith stands to make and I can do it. Aldon Smith is a guy who can afford a private limo or car service at his whim.
The power of our decisions in life carries weight and consequences and I hope that Aldon Smith finally feels the consequences of his actions. He is a poor teammate and a terrible employee to the 49ers. His teammates that were counting on him to be at his best are now left with a likely void. This team was going to be very reliant on its pass rush this season as we break in a new secondary, and now that is going to be even harder without Aldon Smith.
Yeah, I'm upset as a fan for selfish reasons because I want to win, but as a human I'm just plain disgusted with it all.
I won't feel bad for Aldon Smith one bit if he ends up unemployed. I feel bad for all the people on the team that supported him and helped him after his last issue. His selfishness seems to know no bounds and he doesn't deserve the privilege of playing in the NFL anymore because he hasn't earned it. The only person to blame is Aldon himself. While most of the fan base could forgive one incident of childish behavior, I am hoping that we can't forgive five. Fellow Faithful? How do you feel?
By: Barry Rice
Date: August 27, 2015 at 3:05 PM
Comment: Big mistake 49ers. Kick one of your best players when he is down? What happened to innocent until proven guilty? Keep your chin up Smith, you will land on your feet.
Date: August 16, 2015 at 11:16 AM
Comment: I agree but there should be a rule that if He returns to the NFL its must come through the 49ers first. They should not have to paid such dues only to have Him get right and become a super star for another team.
Date: August 9, 2015 at 9:02 AM
Comment: Let's just hope Aldon Smith can find a better path forward that allows him to succeed in life. Clearly the 49ers have zero clue about how to relate to players as people and this is further evidence of the sheer incompetence of the York family and just one of the many examples of how they continue to ruin what was arguable one of the greatest franchises in the NFL to the laughingstock joke of an organization that cares only about the money, the exact opposite of what it takes to be successful, which is the people.
But again what do you expect when an inept dentist buys a football team and gives it to his no integrity BS filled son as a play toy. The silver spoon no integrity brat had, has no clue. He fired the only winning coach in years and has no plan whatsoever. As such an unprecedented amount of defection and retirement as all of those players knew that playing for Jed York and Backstabbing baalke would most certainly mean losing football games and not making the playoffs. No chance, zero, DONE.
If you still believe in Jed York, you must still believe in hope and change and the most transparently treasonous douche bag ever to grace the WH
Date: August 9, 2015 at 4:32 AM
Comment: The niners were left with no other decision to make, they had to release him. Aldon was on a zero tolerance policy regarding drinking and getting into trouble, he knew this and threw caution to the wind. The guy has got a destructive personality and acts as though he has no responsibilities to his team mates or himself. In short he has thrown away a chance to be one of the all time greats and make this team better.
As a team and organisation the 49ers are better off without the distraction, though you can tell from JT's comments the other day that he will get support from the 49ers.
Lucky Phil I dare say Aldon did have calls from friends on the team, and as he's on a zero tolerance scheme I don't think anyone would have offered to go to the liquor store for him which is why he went by himself. It's not the team this is down to an individual and his choices. You have to live with the consequences of your actions, I hope Aldon can, and I hope the team rebound from this latest set back. Go Niners.
By: Lucky Phil
Date: August 7, 2015 at 4:18 PM
Comment: On a more serious note. Aldon didn't have one friend on this team that called him on a day off? Or asked hey bro you need anything at the liquor store, I'll Drive? This team is not a team, I feel sad for Aldon and sad for the Niners. If this team had any leadership or knew the meaning of team, someone would have stepped up and looked out for him. I hear more from Charles Haley and Ronnie Lott in compassion for Aldon then anyone on the Niners. That's a shame and a strong indication this team is a Loser.
By: Lucky Phil
Date: August 7, 2015 at 4:08 PM
Comment: Feels like someone kicked my left testicle out from under me. How many rocks do I got left? If I'm the Niners I'm hiring a babysiter to follow Aaron Lynch around. I got money on him being the next to go stupid. I know we got one OJ Simpson in the crowd. Whose gonna step up?
By: Dallas Niner Fan
Date: August 7, 2015 at 12:45 PM
Comment: This organization is decaying from within. All the defections, suspensions and retirements are no coincidences. The bigger question is where is this organization going. Think about it, who was it that drafted Smith and all the Niners who have had trouble with the law. Until we get leadership from the top this organization is doomed to fail.
By: K. Wells
Date: August 7, 2015 at 12:35 PM
Comment: I am usually one for compassion. I argued in the past that the kid needed a chance, that 14 games suspension was too much, but Goodel knew something, and the Niners should have known. He really got a fair shot. All morning I knew what had to happen and when he was released I was relieved. He is broken and needs help. I wish he could be a Niner but he cant. Make way for the next guy who can tote the weight of success. Aldon , thanks for all you did. Get help and be one. Next man up !! Arik? Nick? Eli? Niners! great article.
By: Frank M
Date: August 7, 2015 at 12:31 PM
Comment: Well done, Stewart. I think most Niner fans feel exactly like you do. What a waste...immense talent, weak mind. Maybe Baalke drafted Eli Harold not only because he's a terrific player, but he also feared this day would come. There's also the adage you can never have too many pass rushers...but this is a sad day for our team. Aldon was going to have his chance to prove he could not only produce on the field, but do the right things off of it. Just when you think this team's been through Hell, another bad thing pops up. Enough already.
Date: August 7, 2015 at 10:52 AM
Comment: This was perfectly written. PERFECTLY! Thank you!
Aldon, get to the root of your alcoholism! Get help. To the 49ers organization, STOP allowing bad decision to mess up this team. Stop letting the organization, the team and the fans down. As a fan, I'm pissed and embarrassed! Grow up, grow a pair and stop tolerating this behavior. Ya, Aldon is done. But there are so many more like him. We want a winning team with smart & intelligent players. If you can't provide that, then we will forever be the laughing stock of the NFL!
Date: August 7, 2015 at 10:30 AM
Comment: He's on probation. So the outcome of this isn't gonna be pretty.
Date: August 7, 2015 at 10:16 AM
Comment: Let him go, he doesn't need to be a part of this team anymore. Live up to your word Jed, win with class and lose this sorry excuse for a human being.
Date: August 7, 2015 at 10:04 AM
Comment: I couldn't agree with you more.