San Francisco 49ers Will Regret Exercising Aldon Smith’s Fifth-Year Option

Aldon Smith

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As we’ve all seen in the last couple of years, Aldon Smith is a train wreck. In between shooting guns at parties, getting stabbed, and shouting bomb threats in the middle of airports, the San Francisco 49ers’ stud linebacker has become the epitome of what people perceive as the “typical NFL player.”

Still, the 49ers decided on Friday to exercise his fifth-year option, keeing him in San Francisco through the 2015 campaign. Essentially, they’ll be paying him $9.75 million in 2015 to be a liability and further trash the team’s image. Even if there’s still some trade value left in the former first-round pick, it’ll be gone before the 49ers can find a willing suitor.

His most recent run-in with the law – the whole “airport bomb threat” thing – should have been the final straw for the 49ers. Although Smith is clearly a top-tier playmaker capable of victimizing opposing quarterbacks at ease, he simply isn’t worth the headaches that he causes. It’s as if he can’t help but keep himself in the headlines.

Smith is likely facing a significant suspension from the NFL assuming he doesn’t land behind bars for his idiocy. The over/under right now is six games, which would mean that he’d likely only see the field for a little more than half of the 49ers’ games in 2014. By that point, though, there’s a good chance that he’ll have found his way into more trouble – history shows us that’s a likely scenario.

Put simply, Smith is going to land himself in hot water enough times until there are no more freebies or mulligans for him to burn. If he hasn’t learned yet, he isn’t going to anytime soon. As the old saying goes: you can’t fix stupid.

Smith is a great football player, but he’s simply not worth the PR nightmare he’s brought upon the 49ers. I understand their unwillingness to cut the cord, but it’ll be backfire. Just wait and see.

Gil Alcaraz IV is the Director of Content for Follow him on Twitter @GilAlcarazIV, like him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.

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  • Jon Cruz

    They wont regret it. 49ers front office knows what they’re doing. Picking up the option puts them in a low risk position. The guy is a Top 5 pass rusher & has the ability to rack up 20 sacks/season. So far, nothing has been handed down by the team or the NFL, I know a decision will be made after his court hearings. Picking up the option benefits the 49ers in a few ways; 1) $9.75M is below market value for a pass rusher of his caliber. 2) He is under team control, so if his off-field troubles continue they can choose not to re-sign him / let him go. 3) If he has a solid season & can stay out of trouble then 49ers have option to “franchise tag” him for 1 more year, re-sign him to an extension, or trade him & get something in return. You cant just cut a player of this caliber loose & get nothing for him, especially if he straightens out his issues & his best football is still ahead of him.

  • Ryan

    This guy is an idiot. The money isn’t guaranteed there for they can cut or trade him at no expense.

    • Jon Cruz

      Yeah, it’s non-guaranteed only if he suffers an injury. Other than that, they’re not on the hook for anything. Picking up the option in this situation is a “no brainer”