The San Francisco 49ers drafted Aldon Smith in 2011 in the hopes that he would become a premier pass rusher on an already stout defense. For the first two years of his career, everything went according to plan. Smith’s arrest in 2013 for DUI charges derailed his path to stardom and forced him to miss some time to regain his focus. He finished the season with the team, and things looked to be back on track. However, on Sunday afternoon, things took another wrong turn. Unfortunately for Aldon Smith and for the 49ers, he is in trouble again.
Smith was at LAX on Sunday afternoon trying to board a plane when he was selected for a second screening by airport officials. Eyewitness reports and a statement released by airport security confirm that he became agitated at the delay, offering as much resistance to airport security as possible. Once he passed through the checkpoint and moved on to his gate, officials approached him again. At some point during his search and minor detainment, Smith had mentioned the word “bomb.” As is protocol, he was detained for being a possible threat. Smith was escorted from his gate by airport security, and though it was said that he was not out of control, he was definitely agitated by the experience.
Some eyewitness reports of the scene say that Smith was confrontational both times security approached him, though no altercation occurred. A spokesman for the Los Angeles Police department would not confirm the identity of Smith, saying only that a 25-year-old man was being taken to the LAPD for booking. The spokesman said that the identity of the man would be released at a later time. However, several eyewitnesses identified the man who caused the trouble at the gate as Aldon Smith.
The 49ers have released a statement concerning the arrest, but have little to say about the incident at this time. They were disappointed in the actions of their star pass rusher, but declined comment on what action would be taken as a result. The team plans on waiting for the matter to play itself out, noting that it was a pending legal matter. They plan to wait until all facts pertinent to the case surface before commenting further.
The arrest of Aldon Smith is troubling news for San Francisco fans and players. If this was a first offense by the young sack specialist, maybe there would be less of a concern. However, Smith has found himself on the wrong side of the law once already in the last year. He was arrested for a DUI in September and as a result missed several weeks of the season when he checked himself in to Rehab. The 49ers still went on to have a great year, but Smith’s DUI came right before the team had a crushing loss at home against the Indianapolis Colts. Though Smith’s transgression may not have been the cause for the defeat, it certainly did not help his team to focus. San Francisco ended up one game behind the Seattle Seahawks for the NFC West crown, and lost the NFC Championship Game in Seattle. A win against the Colts in Week three would have made the road to the Super Bowl go through San Francisco instead. It is only speculation to say the game may have ended differently, but the Seahawks are one of the toughest teams to beat at home, and though still good, are less impressive on the road.
It is too early to know the complete fallout for Smith’s latest arrest. This trouble will certainly land him in hot water again with the league and the law. At some point, the 49ers may decide that he is not worth the trouble he causes. Only time will tell when that point is reached. Unfortunately for Smith, that time may be fast approaching.
Commentary by Chris Chisam