San Francisco 49ers star linebacker Aldon Smith was arrested Thursday night for alleged hit and run, DUI and vandalism, according to Santa Clara Police.
He was booked into Santa Clara County Jail with bond set at $26,000, according to jail records.
Santa Clara Police stated it would provide further details on Smith’s latest run-in with the law later Friday morning. Thursday was the 49ers' players first day off since the veterans reported to training camp last Friday.
Smith last season served a nine-game suspension for violations of the NFL’s policies on substance abuse and personal conduct. His latest incident places his future with the 49ers – and in the NFL – in serious jeopardy.
By all accounts, Smith was in the process of turning his life around, and the 49ers were pleased with how he was conducting himself on and off the field.
On Sunday, coach Jim Tomsula spoke about Smith.
“I’m really happy for and excited for Aldon,” Tomsula said. “I respect what Aldon’s doing and I respect the road he’s on. Life throws things at you, man. Sometimes you cause them, sometimes you don’t, but things happen. To me, the answer’s always in you. The answer’s not if it’s going to happen or what’s going to happen. The answer is always in how you handle it and where you go from there. Own it, fix it, let’s go. The work, obviously the shape he’s in. You see the conditioning he’s doing. I am really excited for Aldon.”
Smith is entering the final year of his contract with the 49ers, and general manager Trent Baalke spoke this week about his desire to sign him to an extension.
“Aldon’s like any young player, he’s growing up, he’s maturing,” Baalke said. “You see that with a lot of these guys. Some of them get themselves in a few more situations that you wish they didn’t. If you asked them, I think they’d say the same thing.
“(We’re) really pleased with the way he’s handled things, the way he’s working both personally and professionally. I think he’s doing an outstanding job. He’s always been a great teammate. He’s always had an excellent work ethic. Those are things that he’s even stepped up.”
This is Smith’s fifth run-in with the law since completing his rookie season with the 49ers.
Smith was arrested in Miami on a DUI charge in January 2012. He entered a diversion program for first-time offenders and charges were reduced to reckless driving.
In September 2013, he was arrested on suspicion of DUI after crashing his vehicle into a tree in San Jose. He pleaded no contest to DUI charges. He missed five games that season as he entered a treatment program for substance abuse.
Last year, he pleaded no contest to three felony weapons charges, stemming from a party at his home in June 2012. He was sentenced to 12 days in a work release program. And in April 2014, Smith was arrested at Los Angeles International Airport for allegedly making a bomb threat. No charges were filed.
Smith was scheduled to make $9.754 million this season when the 49ers picked up his fifth-year option. However, a week before the money would have become fully guaranteed, the 49ers and Smith agreed to a restructured deal that provided protection for the 49ers.
Smith received a non-guaranteed $1 million salary, as well as a $500,000 offseason workout bonus and a total of $1.1 million in roster bonuses for remaining on the team through the offseason. He collected the final installment of $300,000 on August 1, bringing his actual pay for this season to $1.6 million. Smith was scheduled to receive $322,150 per game in bonuses (for a maximum of $5.154 million), as well as another $2 million if he played more than 50 percent of the 49ers’ defensive snaps or recorded eight sacks or more.
Smith established himself as one of the top pass-rushers in the game after the 49ers selected him with the No. 7 overall pick in the 2011 draft. Smith recorded 33.5 sacks in his first two seasons and was named the Bill Walsh Award winner as the 49ers’ MVP in 2012.
But his problems off the field limited Smith to just 18 games and 10.5 sacks over the past two seasons.