The 49ers have decided to release Smith just hours after the Santa Clara police announced that Smith was arrested for a hit and run, DUI and vandalism.
The release ends a long-running series of issues for Smith, who served a nine-game suspension last season for violating the league's policy on personal conduct and substances of abuse. In 2013 he missed five games following a DUI arrest that was followed with Smith checking himself into a treatment facility.
"Although he won't be playing football for the San Francisco 49ers, he won't walk this path alone," coach Jim Tomsula said on Friday afternoon, pleading to those with alcohol problems to get help. "There are things that need to be addressed with 100 percent of what he has."
The team clearly knew that Smith was struggling. He received a 12-day sentence and three years of probation in July following a no-contest plea to three felony weapons charges and two misdemeanor DUI charges. The weapons charges (and one of the DUI charges) were in connection to a 2012 party at Smith's residence where he was stabbed.
"I want everybody to understand this wasn't a DUI," Smith said. "The situation that happened could have been handled differently. I apologize to everybody I did let down and I apologize for how it all played out."
On Friday, a Santa Clara Police Department spokesperson described the incident in a press conference:
"As (Smith) was backing his vehicle to park his vehicle he hit another vehicle that was adjacent to his vehicle," the spokesperson said. Smith then left the scene, but returned on foot and submitted to a field sobriety tests. The SCPD spokesperson described Smith as "cooperative" with the officers but would not disclose his Blood Alcohol Content, saying that information was part of a continuing investigation.
The team also addressed the issue in a short statement.
"This organization has tried very hard to help Aldon fight his issues. Although he is no longer a member of this team, our support and concern for him will continue," the 49ers said in a team statement.
While Smith works on his personal issues, the 49ers are reeling from an offseason worth of bad news. They now only have two defensive starters left from the team that nearly won the Super Bowl in 2013.
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