The San Francisco 49ers released Aldon Smith and now the free agent can sign with any team and one report lists the Dallas Cowboys, New England Patriots, Seattle Seahawks, Pittsburgh Steelers, Arizona Cardinals, Indianapolis Colts, San Diego Chargers and Green Bay Packers as potential future landing spots for the troubled linebacker.
Smith was released last week by the San Francisco 49ers and that followed another arrest for off the field issues. Smith has been in trouble multiple times in his career and last season he was suspended for a number of games and also went into rehab. According to Pro Football Talk, Smith was arrested for DUI and his and run and that was his third DUI issue since 2012. The team just signed Smith to a new, revised contract and the team was reportedly interested in an extension if things worked out well this season.
Smith now has been cut and he could be an option for a number of teams, but Mike Freeman at Bleacher Report writes that he spoke with a GM who said that Smith will "not play" in the league this season. The GM said that teams would wait to sign Smith as he deals with his issues, as Smith could be facing a suspension from the league. As they say, it only takes one team to make a move and Smith is as talented as they come, but he clearly has some issues off the field to take care of.
Mike Florio at Pro Football Talk went down a list of teams that potentially could sign Smith and while he was not reporting on official interest, the list has teams that could be "intriguing landing spots." Smith has been very productive and while he could be facing a suspension, teams could take a chance on him as a free agent after being released by the Niners. Florio writes that the Seahawks and Cardinals could be fits in the NFC West division, while the Packers, Lions, Vikings and Falcons all could use some depth on defense.
The Philadelphia Eagles, Dallas Cowboys and New York Giants are all options in the NFC East, as all teams could use a boost in the pass rush. The Cowboys linebackers could use some more depth, while the Giants linebacking corps have not been good for a number of years. Florio adds that same other landing spots include the New England Patriots, Steelers, San Diego Chargers, Colts and Saints.
Smith was signed to a new deal by the 49ers heading into the season, as Pro Football Talk reported that the team basically threatened to cut Smith if he did not agree to a restructured deal. Smith agreed to a deal worth his previously guaranteed $9.74 million, but it was mostly non-guaranteed and had a number of bonuses and also $2 million in incentives. Smith basically was going deadline to deadline and if he met those, he would be paid. Clearly that did not happen and now he has been cut loose.