The San Francisco 49ers have a huge decision to make regarding outside linebacker Aldon Smith’s 2015 club option. Depending on how one looks at the predicament, the decision just got a lot harder or easier after he was detained by Los Angeles police because he made a false bomb threat at LAX international airport.
Smith has been a giant headache for the 49ers since he signed a rookie contract in 2011. He’s been involved in a string of arrests, including a DUI in 2012 as well as in 2013. Not to mention, he was charged with three felony counts of illegal possession of an assault weapon, which was related to when he was stabbed at a party in June of 2012.
The 24-year-old is under contract for 2014. However, San Francisco has a club option for the 2015 season. Unfortunately, the 49ers must decide by May 3 whether they will pick up the option because Smith was a first-round draft pick.
The decision is a difficult one because Smith is a valuable member of the stifling defense. Even though the team went 5-0 in the first five games last season while he was absent in order to get treatment for substance abuse, the 49ers still need him going forward if they ever want to bring another Super Bowl title to San Francisco. On the other hand, the organization won’t tolerate his drinking, which he was doing at LAX when he made the bomb threat, or his reckless behavior. For that reason, the decision to not pick up the option might be easier than fans want to believe.
At this point, it looks as if the 49ers are leaning more toward not exercising the 2015 contract option. Of course, that could change after high-ranking members of the organization hold meetings over the next couple of weeks to discuss the situation.