The San Francisco 49ers have released former Pro Bowl linebacker Aldon Smith after he was arrested Thursday night, August 7, on a hit and run, driving under the influence and vandalism charges.
This is Smith's third arrest since 2012 for drunken driving, although the now former 49er had a different take on the events that occurred after he was released by jail. Aldon Smith spoke to KGO in San Francisco Friday morning moments after his release, and while he apologized for getting in trouble with the law again, he failed to admit that it was for drunk driving.
“The people who are faithful remain faithful,” Smith said. “Simple as this: Justice will be served, the truth will come out, there’s no DUI. I’m sorry for anybody I let down, I’m sorry for the way this whole thing . . . I need to speak and I want everybody to understand, this wasn’t a DUI, the situation I had could have been handled differently and I apologize for everybody I did let down and I apologize for how it all played out. But as far as everything is concerned, it will work out the way it’s supposed to work out. That’s all.”
The police reported that Smith hit a parked car as he was backing out and then continued to exit his vehicle and caused additional damage to the parked vehicle with his car door. Smith then fled the scene but would later return to the scene in which he was then arrested.
The San Francisco 49ers felt they had no choice but to release their troubled defensive star after he refused to take responsibility of his actions.
49ers head coach Jim Tomsula released the following statement on the Aldon Smith release:
"It’s a sad day. This is a day that doesn’t have anything to do with football. Although he won’t be playing football for the San Francisco 49ers, he will be supported and helped and he will not have to walk this path alone. That comes from our ownership down. He will not have to walk this path alone. We’re not worried about football. It has nothing to do with football. The other thing I would like to say is there are people who, I understand the platform that we are on, I understand where this goes in the news. And what I would like to say is, if one person out there reads this, and you’re struggling, get help. Go get it. You’re worth it. You’re worth it. There’s value in every human being. Get the help. You don’t have to walk alone. Find it, it’s there. And although Aldon will not be playing football here, we will be supporting him. He will not be alone."
Smith will now become a free agent upon his release, but it's unlikely any team will take a chance on him anytime soon with his recent history off the field and a looming suspension on the horizon.
Earlier this off-season, Smith restructured his $9,754,000 salary into monthly bonuses for each month he remained on the active roster. Smith was willing to bet on himself to stay out of trouble, but it's evident now that he's lost that bet.
From a football perspective, this is another huge blow to an already long off-season for the San Francisco 49ers who have seen a huge overhaul of talent to their roster in the last few months. In a NFC West division that has every other team seemingly making moves to improve their 53-man roster, the 49ers and new head coach Jim Tomsula already had a tough challenge ahead of themselves, and it's only gotten harder now by losing their best pass rusher.