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San Francisco 49ers Release OLB Aldon Smith Following Arrest

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The Niners have let Aldon Smith go after his fifth arrest.

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The former first round pick was arrested Thursday night and charged with DUI, hit and run, and vandalism. This marks his third DUI arrest, and fifth arrest since January 2012. He spent time in rehab in 2013, and then went through a 9-game suspension in 2014, so it is not surprising the team would elect to release Smith.

It's a sharp fall from grace for the fastest NFL player to reach 30 sacks and one that does nothing to stem the tide of the Niners' disastrous offseason having now lost Aldon Smith, Justin Smith, Patrick Willis, Chris Borland, Dan Skuta, Perrish Cox and Chris Culliver in the months since the Super Bowl.

Credit to the team though. They said the right thing following his release as did first-year head coach Jim Tomsula. At this point for Smith, the football aspect of his life is secondary. He needs help, and I hope he gets it. Credit to the 49ers if they follow through on their vocalized intent to support him.

As for the secondary football, the first thing I thought of was the 2011 NFL Draft. At the time, the two players I was hoping most to fall to the Rams at 13 were WR Julio Jones and Smith. Instead, they were gifted DE Robert Quinn who unbelievably fell all the way to them. Once we got to pick #12 which was held by the Detroit Lions, I thought they might take Quinn. Instead, they took Auburn DT Nick Fairley who of course is now a Ram.

Nonetheless, here's to Aldon Smith turning his life around first and then getting back on the field...preferably outside the NFC West.