Opinion: Niners' Smith Might Consider Staying Home

Second incident involving team's young pass-rushing star occurs over weekend

By Doug Williams
|  Monday, Jul 2, 2012  |  Updated 8:13 AM PDT
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Opinion: Niners' Smith Might Consider Staying Home

Getty Images

As a rookie in 2011, the Niners' Aldon Smith was a pass-rush phenom. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

It might be time for Aldon Smith to sign up for HBO and get hooked on “Game of Thrones” or to take up reading, chess or knitting.

Anything to keep him in the house late at night.

Because if the 49ers’ young star wants to fulfill his recently stated goal that he wants to become “the ultimate pass rusher, the ultimate outside linebacker,” Smith likely needs to change his late-night habits.

As reported over the weekend, Smith is recovering from what the 49ers are saying are minor injuries incurred at a large late-night house party in Santa Clara. According to a report in the Sacramento Bee, Smith was stabbed. Two people were shot at the party, according to a report in the San Francisco Chronicle.

It’s the second late-night incident Smith since the end of his rookie season. In January he was arrested in Florida and charged with driving under the influence.

The 49ers said this weekend that Smith’s injuries suffered at the house party are not serious. One unsubstantiated report called them “multiple minor stab wounds.”

“We are in contact with Aldon, and thankful that his injuries were not more serious and that he is recovering comfortably,” general manager Trent Baalke said in a statement released to Bay Area media. “The 49ers are in communication with local authorities as they gather information regarding the incident, and will reserve further comment at this time.”

Smith had an incident-free rookie season, when he emerged as one of the top pass rushers in the NFL.

The seventh overall selection in 2011 out of Missouri, Smith had 14 sacks, just a half-sack from tying the league’s rookie sack record set in 1999 by Jevon Kearse.

This coming season, it’s been expected that Smith will become a full-time starting linebacker instead of situational pass-rush specialist.

After reports of Smith’s injuries at the house party this past weekend, Mike Sando of ESPN.com, who covers the AFC West, noted that perhaps it might be time for the young star to re-think his actions.

“We do not yet know whether Smith has done anything wrong,” Sando wrote Saturday. “We can safely say he has put himself in dangerous situations. This time, things reportedly got out of hand at a ‘large house party’ in Santa Clara.

“The stakes are especially high for Smith, given the lifestyle afforded NFL players with the ability to collect sacks the way Smith did as a rookie. … It’s time for Smith to reassess before he’s associated with something more serious.”

 

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