Updates from Thursday, July 24
Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee reported on Aldon Smith's meeting with Roger Goodell:
Aldon Smith says he'll meet with Roger Goodell in the near future but no date has been set.— Matt Barrows (@mattbarrows) July 24, 2014
ESPN's Ed Werder confirms Smith is expected to be suspended:
Those close to Aldon Smith expect Niners top pass-rusher will be suspended. Smith just said he will meet with @nflcommish in near future.— Ed Werder (@Edwerderespn) July 24, 2014
Matt Maiocco of CSN Bay Area provides more from Smith:
Linebacker Aldon Smith said Thursday he has maintained his sobriety since missing five games last season to seek treatment for substance abuse.
And it’s no coincidence, he said, that he reported to 49ers training camp this week in the best physical condition of his life.
“I’m in the best shape I’ve been in, coming into a camp,” Smith said. “And my mind is probably in the best spot it’s been in. So I’m feeling great.”
Updates from Wednesday, July 23
ESPN's Bill Williamson reports on the latest with Aldon Smith as 49ers training camp is set to begin on Thursday:
According to an NFL source, Smith is expected to fly to New York sometime in the near future. It could be as soon as next week, although an exact date has not been set.
The meeting will be held to discuss his off-field issues with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell. Potential discipline could be made by Goodell shortly after the meeting. Goodell has routinely met with troubled players at the league offices before making disciplinary decisions.
Updates from Friday, July 18
Aldon Smith appeared in court on Friday, facing sentencing for weapons and DUI charges in which he entered a plea deal in June. Tracey Kaplan of the San Jose Mercury News provides updates from the proceeding:
Smith apologizes for his actions to the judge #49ers— tracey kaplan (@tkaplanreport) July 18, 2014
Judge reduces felonies re guns to misdemeanors.— tracey kaplan (@tkaplanreport) July 18, 2014
DUI:court prob for 3 years, *12 days in county jail, with 1 day credit, HOWEVER that can be served on mondays starting july 28 ON WORK CREW— tracey kaplan (@tkaplanreport) July 18, 2014
DUi: comes down to probation w 11 days on a work crew on mondays— tracey kaplan (@tkaplanreport) July 18, 2014
For misd gun charges: same to run concurrently (at same time) plus 235 hrs commty service.— tracey kaplan (@tkaplanreport) July 18, 2014
For guns: $2,000 punitive fine, cant possess guns or ammo for 3 years tht he on probation— tracey kaplan (@tkaplanreport) July 18, 2014
Updates from Wednesday, June 25
Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk passes along an update on Aldon Smith's current legal situation and Week 1 status:
Per a source with knowledge of the situation, Smith likely won’t receive jail time at his sentencing, if he can stay out of trouble over the next month. However, regardless of whether he receives simply an order of probation, the league office remains expected to suspend him for at least one game, possibly more.
Appearing in court Wednesday for two separate incidents, San Francisco 49ers linebacker Aldon Smith is entering a plea deal that is expected to resolve both cases.
Bay Area court reporter Tracey Kaplan had the details:
Aldon Smith is here, sources say. Case is resolving. He's filling out a plea form as we speak.— tracey kaplan (@tkaplanreport) May 21, 2014
Aldon Smith cuts deal on DUI, Weapons charges. He will enter a guilty or no contest plea w/in an hour. Terms of deal not clear yet.— tracey kaplan (@tkaplanreport) May 21, 2014
#49ers waiting for Aldon Smith to enter plea. 1 other matter ahead of his.— tracey kaplan (@tkaplanreport) May 21, 2014
Less than an hour later, Cam Inman of the Bay Area News Group tweeted out the official news:
#49ers Aldon Smith pleads no contest to gun/DUI charges.— Cam Inman (@CamInman) May 21, 2014
Kaplan provided more context on what it means for Smith and details on the next step:
No contest is a conviction; it just insulates him from civil liability. He has been sued in connex w the house party by guest shot by...— tracey kaplan (@tkaplanreport) May 21, 2014
...gang members who crashed the party. Tht was in july 2012. Illegal weapons found later by deputies investigating the shooting.— tracey kaplan (@tkaplanreport) May 21, 2014
He must report for sentencing JULY 25— tracey kaplan (@tkaplanreport) May 21, 2014
Kale Williams of the San Francisco Chronicle reports on the potential time in jail Smith will be facing:
DA Buckelew: Smith could face anywhere from no time to maximum of 4 years or anywhere in between including house arrest. #49ers— Kale Williams (@sfkale) May 21, 2014
In June 2012, the young pass-rusher reportedly fired his handgun during a house party, resulting in weapons charges. Last September, he once again made the wrong kind of headline, as he was arrested on suspicion of DUI after crashing his truck into the front yard of a San Jose residence.
This particular plea deal does not involve last month's airport incident, in which he made a fake bomb threat. He may face a misdemeanor for that particular offense.
Despite a seemingly endless stream of off-the-field problems—Smith missed five games last season for alcohol rehabilitation—the 24-year-old recently fought to maintain his image during an interview with Comcast SportsNet.
"I’m a good person, and the people who know me know I’m a good person," Smith said, via Sports Illustrated's Bryan Rose.
"Maybe after this is over, you can tell your friends I’m a good person. Anybody who hangs around me can tell that. A lot of these things are being painted in a picture that’s not true."
Smith very well could spend part of the season reshaping that image off the field.
It's still just speculation with the league office yet to weigh in, but as Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio noted, acceptance of guilt on the above charges could lead to separate suspensions—one for violating the substance-abuse policy and one for violating the personal-conduct policy.
As the Mercury News' Cam Inman argued, though, a potential suspension isn't likely to be too extensive:
Looking at NFL history, I doubt Aldon Smith gets more than 4-game suspension, if any since he sat 5 in '13. Legal process will play out 1st— Cam Inman (@CamInman) May 21, 2014
When he is able to dodge the distractions, Smith is one of the most feared players on the gridiron. In just 43 career regular-season games, he has racked up 42 sacks and five forced fumbles, featuring the type of size and explosiveness that makes him nearly unblockable at times.
What kind of suspension do you think Aldon Smith will receive from the NFL?
That immense talent has contributed to the 'Niners staying loyal through all of this, as they recently picked up his fifth-year option for 2015.
It will be good for Smith to officially get (almost) everything behind him, but for the near future, it looks like the 49ers may need to find some production out of Dan Skuta, Corey Lemonier and rookie Aaron Lynch.
If that's what it takes to get Smith focused and back to his dominant form, consider it a deal that Jim Harbaugh and Trent Baalke would gladly accept.