The San Francisco 49ers are trying to be optimistic about losing linebacker Aldon Smith for only a handful of games. Unfortunately, it appears that number will be closer to an eight-game suspension, which will be half of the 2014 NFL season.
Smith met with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell on Thursday to discuss his incident at the Los Angeles International Airport in which he acted out towards a TSA agent before making the false statement that he was carrying a bomb. Clearly, dropping the word ‘bomb’ in an airport is about the worst thing someone can say. Even though the Los Angeles City Attorney eventually dropped the charges against Smith, the NFL has decided to take matters into their own hands.
Although I said the 49ers are optimistic, the organization is also expecting the worse. As of right now, it is likely that Smith will be suspended six to eight games.
The reason why I believe it will be eight games is because of the other incidents to go along with what happened at LAX. Smith was recently put on three years of probation and forced to work on a city crew for 11 days because he pleaded no contest to drunken driving and weapon charges. The suspicion of drunken driving and possession of marijuana occurred in September 2013 after he was in a single vehicle accident. The weapon charges came when he got in trouble with the illegal possession of an assault rifle.
Even though charges against him were dropped and he won’t serve jail time, he will still have to pay approximately $4,000 in fines and complete 235 hours of community service.
The loss of Smith for five games last season really hurt the 49ers, as he is one of the premier young pass rushers in the game. Not having him for eight games could be detrimental to what San Francisco wants to do on defense this season.