Officials from three different teams say that they have interest in signing ex-49ers linebacker Aldon Smith, according to Jason Cole of Bleacher Report (video link). However, those officials still have concerns about the athlete and acknowledged that there are some serious hurdles to cross before putting pen-to-paper with Smith.
Those teams that spoke with Cole want to see the toxicology report from Smith’s arrest to ascertain whether he was drinking or possibly under the influence of other substances. Ultimately, those details could dictate how much legal trouble he’ll be in and that in turn will influence the level of punishment he receives from the NFL.
Smith, 25, was arrested by Santa Clara police on hit and run, DUI, and vandalism charges, though when he was released from jail last week, the outside linebacker disputed the fact that he had been driving under the influence. The incident is the latest in a series of off-field run-ins for Smith, who has had DUI arrests in the past, and missed nearly half the 49ers’ games over the last two seasons after entering a rehabilitation facility in 2013 and serving a nine-game suspension in 2014.
When he’s healthy and on the field, Smith can be one of the league’s most effective pass rushers, as he exhibited during his first two years in the NFL. As a part-time player in his rookie season, Smith recorded 14 sacks, and he piled up another 19.5 as a starter in 2012, en route to a spot on the All-Pro first team. However, his off-field issues have limited his production since then.