Ray Ratto: ‘The 49ers Will Pick Up Aldon Smith’s 2015 Option’
The latest episode in a sitcom of idiocy unfolded at Los Angeles International Airport on Sunday, as Aldon Smith – who was annoyed that he had to participate in a secondary security screening – told TSA officials that he possessed a bomb.
Smith, of course, was detained by police. He was later released on a $20,000 bail.
This incident comes just months after Smith was arrested, again, for a DUI.
How are the San Francisco 49ers reacting to all of this?
“Well, I think right now they’d like to choke him until he turns very blue,” Comcast Sports Net Bay Area columnist Ray Ratto said on The John Feinstein Show. “But I have a feeling that as time goes on, their feelings about him – which are pretty strident right now – will fade as they start looking at 41 sacks in 42 games.
“The talent-tolerance scale is always in play in the National Football League, probably more than in any other sport. And ultimately, the things that irritate you in April stop irritating you quite so much in August and September and definitely when the season starts.
“So I think right now they’d like to kill him just a little bit. But I think once he gets through his court case on the 29th and they have a better idea of what they have to deal with, I think their feelings toward him may abate a bit. They’re not happy with him, though.”
Any chance the 49ers pick up Smith’s option for 2015, or do they just leave that for now?
Then again, the deadline to pick up the option is May 3.
“I think they’ll pick it up because it’s non-binding except in case of injury,” Ratto said. “So they could pick it up and then decide to cut him because it’s not guaranteed. Really, it’s a procedural thing.
“I’m not sure about the cap ramifications, but they can cut him before 2015 and not have to pay him.”
What is the issue with Smith? Is it his alcohol abuse? Or is it something else?
“I haven’t been around him enough to be able to say with any certitude what it is or isn’t. You might get a better answer from some of the guys who knew him when he was in Missouri,” Ratto said. “But alcohol clearly plays a role here. And the fact that his first rehab didn’t take – and that’s not unusual because addiction is a bear – I would say alcohol is probably the first place you got o try to solve this. And then if there are underlying causes, then that gets into a whole different deal.
“I could give you a bunch of lies – and in fact, for $12, I will – but it would be dishonest of me to say I know what makes him tick.”
Whatever it is, 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh would be wise to get off his moral high horse. Harbaugh hasn’t been bashful about criticizing Pete Carroll for his players’ off-the-field behavior, but San Francisco has had four incidents in 2014 alone.
Daniel Kilgore was cleared of DUI charges, Chris Culliver is facing hit-and-run charges, Colin Kaepernick is being investigated for sexual assault, and now, Smith – again.
“Jim Harbaugh has to shut up now,” Ratto said. “I think Jim will no longer be taking the high moral ground on that for awhile.”
Speaking of Kaepernick, what exactly happened?
“We know nothing, frankly,” Ratto said. “We have a police report that came mostly through the woman in question. She was there with Kaepernick and Quinton Patton and Ricardo Lockette and they were drinking and smoking the good. And she passed out, ended up in bed, seems to remember Kaepernick kissing her but claims there was no sex. To the best of our knowledge, there is no evidence that there was sex. And then she ended up passing out and waking up at a local hospital. (She) doesn’t know how she got there. Nothing been corroborated yet, and the cops are still investigating.
“So the short answer is, no idea.”