After months of anticipation and playing the waiting game, the verdict is finally out in regards to San Francisco 49ers OLB Aldon Smith as he will be suspended for nine games. A suspension that was handed down by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell today, Smith will now be forced out of action and unable to return until their Week 11 road game against the New York Giants.
Last year, Smith took a five-game voluntary leave of absence to deal with his fight with alcoholism and as a result, the 49ers won all five games. So this is not unchartered territory for them by any stretch of the imagination. It remains to be seen whether Smith would appeal the suspension as he met with Goodell three weeks ago in New York prior to the Baltimore Ravens exhibition game.
Last month, Smith was sentenced by the Santa Clara County judge to 12 days of Sherriff’s work crew, three years probation, and 235 hours of community service. That sentence came after Smith pleaded “no contest” to the three felony counts of illegal possession of an assault weapon on June 29, 2012 and one misdemeanor DUI charge.
Recently, Goodell issued a new rule in place that would put an end to domestic violence as he said:
“In addition to focusing on domestic violence and sexual assault, we will continue to maintain strong policies regarding weapons offenses. We are similarly working to strengthen our response to impaired driving. We have sought — unsuccessfully — for several years to obtain the NFLPA’s agreement to more stringent discipline for DUI, including mandatory deactivation for the game immediately following an arrest and a minimum two-game suspension for a first violation of law. We will continue to press our position on this issue in the hope of securing the union’s agreement.”
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
With Aldon getting suspended for an extended period of time, the 49ers will need to count on others to be the “next man-up” and that player will ultimately fall on the shoulders of OLB Corey Lemonier, OLB Dan Skuta, and possibly OLB Aaron Lynch.