The 49ers didn’t wait long to part ways with talented-but-troubled outside linebackers Aldon Smith.
But as they did in the two-sentence statement announcing his release moments ago, coach Jim Tomsula offered his support for Smith.
“It’s a sad day,” Tomsula said, via the team’s official website. “This is a day that doesn’t have anything to do about football. Although he won’t will be playing football for the San Francisco 49ers, he will be supported, and he will be helped. . . .
“He won’t have to walk this path alone. We’re not worried about football. It has nothing to do with football.”
Tomsula also pleaded for understanding and sympathy for Smith’s situation.
“If one person out there reads this, and you’re struggling, get help,” Tomsula said. “Go get it. You’re worth it. There’s a value in every human being. Get the help. You don’t have to walk alone.”
Offering help to Smith is the human thing to do, even if it’s not necessary. They gave Smith multiple chances over the years, propping him up during suspensions and rehab, a courtesy which wasn’t returned with reliability.
If there’s anyone to feel sorry for in this case, it might be Tomsula.
The new 49ers coach literally slept in his car to get his start in the business, and after working his way to the pinnacle of his career, he’s been left a team that will be hard-pressed to compete.
They’ve also lost linebackers Patrick Willis and Chris Borland, defensive lineman Justin Smith and right tackle Anthony Davis to retirements, and lost guard Mike Iupati, running back Frank Gore, wide receiver Michael Crabtree, cornerbacks Chris Culliver and Perrish Cox and linebacker Dan Skuta in free agency.
It is, in short, a mess — making it not dissimilar to Smith’s story.