Aldon Smith

Ex-49ers, Raiders star Aldon Smith arrested on suspicion of DUI in Kansas

Ex-49ers, Raiders star Aldon Smith arrested on suspicion of DUI in Kansas

Aldon Smith is in the news for the wrong reasons once again. 

The former 49ers and Raiders edge rusher was arrested Tuesday morning in Mission, Kansas. Police initially stopped Smith for a traffic violation, the Kansas City Star's Robert Cronkleton reported Tuesday

Cronkleton reported that Smith was then arrested around midnight on suspicion of DUI. He was issued citations at the Mission police station and released to a friend, said Capt. Kevin Self, a spokesman for the Mission Police Department. 

This is the latest in a long line of off-field issues for Smith. He was last arrested in August of 2018 for allegedly violating conditions of an electronic monitoring program. When he showed up to the San Francisco County Sheriff’s department last summer, he had a .40 blood alcohol level, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

Smith was selected by the 49ers with the No. 7 overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft. He set a record by recording 33.5 sacks in his first two seasons before running into trouble. He was released by the 49ers in August of 2015 after his fifth issue with the law. 

The Raiders then signed Smith just before the start of the 2015 season. He played in nine games for the Silver and Black that season before being suspended again for at least one season. Smith applied for reinstatement in 2016, but that decision was pushed back to the offseason and he was never granted the ability to re-join the NFL. 

[RELATED: Clelin Ferrell wants to be what Aldon Smith should've been]

Now 29 years old, Smith officially became a free agent in March of 2018 when the Raiders released him after two seasons away from the NFL. At the time, the San Francisco police said they were searching for Smith in connection with a domestic violence charge. Smith turned himself in before posting bail.

Over four seasons and 59 games played in the NFL, Smith recorded 47.5 sacks.

Clemson's Clelin Ferrell wants to be what Aldon Smith should've been in NFL

Clemson's Clelin Ferrell wants to be what Aldon Smith should've been in NFL

SAN JOSE -- Clelin Ferrell wasn't randomly given No. 99 at Clemson. It was chosen, then proudly worn in homage to his favorite pass rusher of all time.

It's a man the Bay Area knows well.

That’s right: Aldon Smith.

The University of Missouri product had an unreal start to his NFL career, with 42 sacks in his first three seasons with the 49ers. Then it went supernova, destroyed by off-the-field issues, suspensions and run-ins with the law. Smith hasn’t played NFL football since an abbreviated 2015 campaign with the Raiders, battling well-documented issues with substances of abuse.

Ferrell knows that Smith has his demons. Ferrell also knows that few pass rushers were better than Smith at his best.

“I know his career didn’t pan out the way a lot of people wanted, but (he’s) the reason I wear No. 99,” Ferrell said Saturday during College Football National Championship media day at SAP Center. “I feel like I could be … and I don't know if anything’s over with [Smith's career] -- that’s still in the works -- but I feel like I can be what he should've been and where he should be in his career right now.

“I know he has had some setbacks, and I always pray that he'll return to the level he was. I always looked up to him and his game."

Ferrell has the talent to play at an Smith-like level. He has ideal size at 6-foot-4, 265 pounds. He also has ideal speed, athleticism and length, but he isn’t just a workout warrior. He has steadily produced for Clemson, with 27 sacks over three seasons heading into Monday’s national championship game against Alabama at Levi’s Stadium, where Smith briefly played. Ferrell has 21 sacks in the last two years, far more than Smith had in two years as a collegian.

Ferrell is a better run defender than many think, something he’d like you to know before stereotyping him as a situational pass rusher.

Ferrell ranks high among college football’s edge rushers -- he won the Ted Hendricks Award as the nation’s best defensive end -- and he should be a top-10 pick if he declares for the 2019 NFL draft. He could be a Raiders target as high as No. 4, or if the Silver and Black trade back a smidge to acquire more picks.

He would fill a pressing need rushing off the edge and setting it in the run game -- two traits lacking in the 2018 Raiders defensive front.

“He has a great future,” Clemson defensive coordinator Brent Venables said. “He’s long, athletic and has great speed. He has instincts and some real natural talent, but also has character and work ethic and the fortitude to out-compete and fight and be a great leader. He has great humility to him. All those things translate to the next level and will help him transition to the NFL. He’ll be very prepared for what’s in front of him.”

[RELATED: Mock drafts' guess on how the Raiders will use the No. 4 pick]

Ferrell hasn’t formally decided whether to turn pro, but he’s expected to at some point after Monday’s game. The redshirt junior could’ve done so last year, but he returned to school, then dominated the 2018 season, with 11.5 sacks and 18.5 tackles for loss. He was named a first-team All-American for the second consecutive year, and he has accomplished almost everything at the amateur level.

He still didn’t want to tip his hand just yet, and swears he can tune out all the draft talk while focusing on what could be his last game at Clemson.

“I was blessed to be in a position (last year) where my name was involved in draft talk, but I can't control all of that,” Ferrell said. “It’s such a long process from now to making a decision and through the draft. I’m not really thinking about it, because so much can happen between then and now. I’ll make a decision at the end of the season.

"I just focus on what’s in front of me, and that’s the national championship game. That’s why I came to Clemson, to win a title. I owe that to the team and the program to remain 100 percent focused on that.”

Donte Whitner explains differences in Reuben Foster, Aldon Smith situations

Donte Whitner explains differences in Reuben Foster, Aldon Smith situations

With the 49ers releasing linebacker Reuben Foster in the wake of his misdemeanor domestic violence arrest Saturday in Florida, Aldon Smith's situation was brought up on 49ers Pregame Live as a comparison.

Former 49ers safety Donte Whitner, now an NBC Sports Bay Area analyst, had a front-row seat for Smith's many run-ins with trouble, and he doesn't believe they were similar to Foster's issues. He also had some strong thoughts on the linebacker's situation.

"It was very tough watching Aldon Smith go through that," Whitner said Sunday before pivoting back to Foster. "At some point, you're a grown man. At some point, after you get your second, third, fourth chance, it's all on you. ... This man was a grown man, and you understand your career was almost taken away from you with the last charges, why would you put yourself in the same predicament over and over and over again? At some point, we're not going to hold your hand. You're a grown man."

Whitner and Smith were 49ers teammates from 2011 through the 2013 season. Since becoming a pro in 2011, Smith had numerous run-ins with the law.

In 2013, Smith was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence and possession of alcohol, and later entered himself into a rehab facility. The next season, Smith was suspended for nine games after he violated the league's substance abuse policy. A year later, he was arrested a third time for a DUI, and subsequently was released by the 49ers.

"We did the same thing with Aldon. 'Aldon, come on, stop doing this.' 'Aldon, don't do this, don't do that.' And you continue to do it?" Whitner said. "Now we have to let you face the consequences on your own, and nobody's going to hold your hand.

"Football aside, now you made it out of the hood, you made it out of the ghetto and now you continue to want to go back. Now, this is an opportunity to send him back to the ghetto, to the hood, where he first started, and you never know what will happen then."

While Foster and Smith were both first-round draft picks by the 49ers, their on-field production was completely different, and Whitner believes that played a part in how long of a leash the team gave each player. In four seasons with the 49ers, Smith finished with 44 sacks and 152 combined tackles. In 16 games over two seasons, Foster never recorded a sack and finished with 101 combined tackles.

"Aldon was a totally different situation because he would go out there and get you four, five, six sacks in one game," Whitner said. "And it's easier to deal with when you're on the field and putting effort and putting plays toward winning a championship. But when you're a guy that's been struggling like Reuben Foster, a guy that's been struggling off the field, at some point, we gotta cut our ties with you, and we wish you the best of luck."

Foster posted a $2,000 bond from a Tampa, Fla., jail on Sunday while his former teammates were playing the Bucs. As Foster exited the jail, he declined to comment and was wisked away in a car that was waiting for him.