NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported Thursday on "NFL Total Access" that the 49ers do not plan to cut Smith, who has $3 million in guaranteed salary next season.
That doesn't come close to solving Smith's problems, however. Rapoport said a suspension at the start of the season is likely, per sources involved in the situation, though it's unknown how many games it will last.
Significant legal issues represent another hurdle to getting back on the field. Smith is facing three felony gun charges as well as a DUI charge that led to a rehab stay last year. He'll face those charges in one trial set to begin on April 29. Smith's arrest for the false report of a bomb threat came after the judge in his upcoming trial warned Smith to keep his nose clean.
"It is possible Aldon Smith isn't on the field because he may be in jail," Rapoport said Thursday.
It's a sobering thought for Smith and the entire 49ers organization.