49ers players hope Aldon Smith gets the help he needs


Aldon Smith went from redemption story to released in the a blink of an eye Friday.

After the San Francisco 49ers cut the talented pass rusher following yet another arrest, his former teammates echoed coach Jim Tomsula, saying they hope Smith takes care of himself.

"I'm just more concerned about him as a person," wide receiver Anquan Boldin said, per ESPN.com. "Football doesn't come into play when it comes to a situation like that. My whole thought is just making sure he's OK as a person."

"Hopefully he gets some help," safety Antoine Bethea added.

"It's tough. That guy might be the best pass-rusher in the league, but, like I said, it's more than about football right now," chimed in free safety Eric Reid.

Smith's latest arrest came as a surprise to teammates, who said the 25-year-old linebacker seemed to be dedicated to his work.

"He was looking the best I've ever seen. He was having a great camp," Boldin said. "I think everybody was shocked. I wasn't here the entire offseason, but from what I gather, he's worked his butt off, and it looked that way when I got here. I think it was a shock to everyone."

Added Reid: "He made huge improvements. He seemed like a different person, honestly, he did."

While teammates hope Smith focuses on getting himself right, they know they have a big hole to fill.

"We've got to keep rolling," Bethea said. "I mean, next man up, whoever that may be, they've got to come in, they've got to step in, they've got to play well.

"Aldon, as we all know, when he's on the field, he's something to reckon with. So whoever steps into his spot, they've got to step in and play well for us. ... We're a family here. So just like in any other family, when somebody goes down, we come together and make it stronger. And that's what we're going to do ... piggyback off one another, help each other, and we'll be fine."

The latest Around The NFL Podcast covers the latest on Aldon Smith's release and breaks down the training camp stories flying under the radar.