Well this was a surprise as San Francisco 49ers OLB Aldon Smith agreed to restructure his $9.754 million salary this season in the form of roster bonuses.
The 49ers have fully supported Smith throughout his numerous off-field incidents while never turning their back on him and as a result, Smith is repaying his debt in the form of good faith.
“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,” GM Trent Baalke told beat writers last year. “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.”
Last July, the 49ers decided to pickup Smith’s fifth-year option despite Smith being in hot water with the law including:
Timeline of Aldon’s off-field incidents:
- Jan. 27, 2012: Arrested for DUI in Miami Beach
- June 29, 2012: Authorities found 5 unregistered weapons at his house and he was charged with 3 felony counts of illegal possession of an assault weapon
- June 29, 2012: Suffered stab wounds at his own house party
- Sept. 20, 2013: Arrested for suspicion of DUI with marijuana and pills in the car
- April 13, 2014: Arrested at LAX for allegedly saying “bomb” to TSA; not charged
- May 21, 2014: Pleads no contest to 3 felony weapon charges and one misdemeanor DUI (2nd DUI)
- July 18, 2014: Sentenced to 12 days in Jail and 3 year probation
However, the 49ers stuck by his side through the thick and thin despite backlash from the media and fan base and as a result Smith is returning the favor.
According to CSN Bay Area’s Matt Maiocco, Smith’s agent Doug Hendrickson had the following to say in regards to the restructured deal.
“The thought behind it is that Aldon realizes he’s been his own worst enemy. He has come a long way since he was suspended. Ultimately his goal, my goal, and the team’s goal is for him to sign a long-term contract with the Niners.”
Smith was suspended for the first nine games of the 2014 season due to some of the incidents mentioned above but has now finally matured into a modeled citizen the Forever Faithful can appreciate as he’s been seen in the community helping kids in need while appearing at many charitable events.
A once troubled athlete, it appears now that Smith has finally matured into the professional the Forever Faithful can count on.
With the 49ers likely signing Smith to a long-term contract later this season, it will still be interesting to see how he responds as he plays in a contract year.
In 50 regular-season games, Smith has amassed 152 tackles, 44 sacks, and five forced fumbles.