49ers linebacker Aldon Smith’s Sunday trip to the airport in Los Angeles ended with a visit to jail instead of a flight to another city, but he was released before the night was out.
Smith was booked for being in violation of California Penal Code 148.1(a) after saying he had a bomb during an incident with airport security, which carries a possible punishment of one year in jail. For now, though, Cam Inman of the Bay Area News Group reports that he’s out of custody after posting $20,000 bail.
As reported on Sunday night, police believe Smith had been drinking alcohol before the incident but cannot confirm it because it had no bearing on the conditions of his arrest. It’s sure to be a big concern for the 49ers, however, as Smith spent time in rehab last season and still has charges pending for the second of his two recent DUI arrests. Smith also still faces weapon charges after authorities found guns at his home last summer during a party that ended with Smith being treated for stab wounds.
49ers CEO Jed York said last month that the team thought Smith was doing well after his rehab stint and that the team didn’t want to “make it more stick than carrot” when it came to making sure he remained out of trouble in the future. The team said it was “disappointed” in a statement on Sunday, however, and they have a decision to make about the fifth-year option on Smith’s contract.
As they’re unlikely to release Smith, passing on that would be the likeliest way for the 49ers to employ the stick in light of this arrest. The impact could be limited, though. Even with Sunday’s developments, a strong 2014 season for Smith would turn that into a lot of carrots from the 49ers or someone else at some point in the 2015 offseason.