San Francisco 49ers linebacker Aldon Smith has faced numerous off the field issues since he entered the NFL in 2011. He has been arrested for DUI twice, and he is currently on leave from the 49ers while undergoing alcohol abuse treatment.
Smith was also recently named in a civil lawsuit, along with former teammate and current Tennessee Titan Delanie Walker, accusing the two players of firing guns at a party in 2012, hitting the man who filed the suit. Today, Smith was charged with three felonies related to that incident, all on illegal possession of an assault weapon.
If convicted, Smith would face a maximum of 4 years and 4 months in prison, according to the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s office. Such a conviction would undoubtedly end Smith’s career, although it is rather unlikely he would receive the maximum sentence if he were to be convicted. Even still, any amount of jail time could prove to be the last straw for his NFL chances, and he is most definitely going to be suspended by the league at some point.
Smith has 38.0 sacks in his 35 career regular season games, and is one of the elite outside linebackers in the league when he is on the field. His absence has been noticeable for the 49ers this season, and they may have to get used to not having his presence for much longer.
It is sad to see someone waste his talent because of sheer stupidity, but Smith’s actions are reprehensible and he deserves to be punished accordingly. The NFL has a major image problem when it comes to the off the field behavior of its players, and Smith is rapidly becoming the poster boy for this bad reputation.
Obviously the legal process needs to play out, but it appears the off the field troubles are far from over for Aldon Smith.