In similar fashion to last year, when they finally decided to release Ray McDonald after multiple transgressions, the 49ers are parting ways with Aldon Smith.
FILED TO ESPN: 49ers to release Aldon Smith.
— Jim Trotter (@JimTrotter_NFL) August 7, 2015
“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 offseason from hell gets more hellish.
We’ve heard many times over the last several weeks about the positivity coursing through 49ers headquarters. They’re in love with the roster, and they have faith that they’ve put together a coaching staff that will bust through the drama and hurt feelings that shrouded Jim Harbaugh’s tenure. It doesn’t matter what the 49ers say — this will now change. This is a major distraction, and it’s one the team caused by giving Smith chance after chance due to his ability to sack quarterbacks.
By most accounts, the defense still looked strong heading into this season. Smith, who was supposedly sober and on a mission to prove himself, was a big reason why. Now the top outside linebackers on the team are Ahmad Brooks (accused of sexual assault in a civil suit stemming from the incident at McDonald’s house), Aaron Lynch (who’s been hurt throughout most of the offseason and isn’t in tip-top shape), Corey Lemonier (who isn’t good) and Eli Harold (a rookie who has reportedly looked impressive so far).
This marks an end to one of the strangest 49ers careers for a player who is incredibly talented and just as troubled. The team stuck by Aldon, through the DUI in Miami, the DUI+accident in San Jose after a night of partying (I took the above photo at the end of practice after Smith got in trouble that morning), the house party that led to gun charges, and the “bomb threat” incident at LAX.
Smith was Trent Baalke’s guy, and it took last night’s incident (details still forthcoming) for the 49ers to pull the plug.
Sure, it’s sad that Smith couldn’t get his life in order. But there are millions upon millions who face the same demons, people who get no attention whatsoever, and many of them would’ve spent months in prison for the stunts Smith pulled. He’s on probation, so it’s possible this latest incident could land him in jail — even if it’s something as minor as an argument with a neighbor that led Smith to punch said neighbor’s automobile.
Jim Tomsula spoke about the team’s decision at a press conference today, and said the team will support him “from ownership down.”
Tomsula: Sad day. This is a day that doesn’t have anything to do with football … He will not have to walk this path alone. — Niners Nation (@NinersNation) August 7, 2015
Only 11 49ers who took snaps in Super Bowl 47 still remain with the team.
- Colin Kaepernick
- Joe Staley
- Alex Boone
- Bruce Miller
- Vernon Davis
- Garrett Celek
- Ahmad Brooks
- NaVorro Bowman
- Tramaine Brock (special teams only)
- Daniel Kilgore (special teams only)
- Michael Wilhoite (special teams only)
It’s a sad day for the 49ers, who lose key players in new ways every month, or so it would seem.