The San Francisco 49ers today announced that OLB Aldon Smith has received a fifth-year option, keeping him from becoming an unrestricted free-agent next season. A deal that includes a $9.754 million salary for the 2015 season, Smith will now have to prove he is worth every penny.
A task easier said than done, as Smith has had run-ins with the law in his first four seasons, including taking a leave of absence last season in his fight substance abuse, Smith is still a premier pass-rusher making his on-field production worth the risk.
In three seasons in San Francisco, Smith has racked up 137 tackles, 42.0 sacks, five forced fumbles, one interception and five pass break-ups. And while he still has pending legal matters to deal with including three felony guns charges in Santa Clara Superior Court, as well as a misdemeanor DUI in September and contemplating a misdemeanor charge of making a false report of a bomb threat, Smith’s future with the 49ers is expressed candidly.
49ers GM Trent Baalke spoke on Smith as he said, “Can I make it any clearer? I’m a firm believer in the humanistic approach to everything. You continue to work, just like you would with any family member. We’re a family. You just don’t open the door and toss people out of it. You continue to work until they leave you no choice.”
With Smith now re-signed via the 2015 season, the 49ers can rest assured that their top premier pass-rusher is not going anywhere. However, only time will tell what his future holds, as Smith has yet to mature into a WR Anquan Boldin type leader. A young kid with a lot of potential I believe the 49ers made the right decision in the end.