SANTA CLARA – The 49ers released star outside linebacker Aldon Smith after his fifth run-in with the law since joining the organization as a first-round draft pick in 2011, the club announced Friday morning.
“Although he is no longer a member of this team, our support and concern for him will continue,” 49ers said in a statement.
In December, the 49ers released defensive end Ray McDonald, with general manager Trent Baalke citing a “pattern of poor decision-making.”
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.
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.