The NFC’s defending champions find themselves in a similar situation as the AFC favorite Denver Broncos following a report that came out earlier today. All-Pro defensive end Aldon Smith was arrested at 7 a.m. this morning for suspicion of DUI, according to CSN Bay Area’s Matt Maiocco.
Smith was involved in a one-car crash (crashed his vehicle into a tree), according to San Jose police, and was arrested shortly thereafter. There were also allegedly drugs found in his car as well.
KTVU’s Robert Handa tweeted a photo of the crash scene earlier this afternoon and stated that the homeowner told him that Smith looked asleep and that his wheels “kept turning” after the crash. Smith was arrested and booked for DUI and pot possession.
ProFootballTalk received a statement from the 49ers:
“The 49ers organization is aware of the matter involving Aldon Smith. As we continue to gather information regarding this situation, we will have no further comment.”
Head coach Jim Harbaugh also reacted to the news, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. He stated he was “disappointed” in Smith’s actions, but anticipates that he will play Sunday. Not to mention Smith, upon being released from jail, ended up on the practice field today for the Niners.
Though professional athletes seem to weasel their way out of legal trouble such as DUI’s and drug arrests, there’s no way the NFL won’t take action against Smith and fine/suspend him. Given Denver’s situation with All-Pro linebacker Von Miller (currently serving a six-game suspension). Miller’s six-game ban has to do with violations to the NFL’s substance-abuse policy, but it’s fair to say that had he not already been serving a suspension then he likely would have been suspended for the recent legal trouble he’s been facing, including driving with a suspended license.
Harbaugh seems to point to the idea that the team won’t be dishing out any discipline to Smith, but it would be likely that commissioner Goodell would hand down a stern punishment to the star player.
One would hope, anyways.
If I were Goodell, a two-game punishment would be the minimum. Probably more.
If he doesn’t hand over some sort of suspension to Smith, I think it would be setting a very bad example to the rest of the league, and to kids that follow the National Football League as well.