Taking a look at the Aldon Smith dilemma
Aldon Smith will not return to action until it is deemed he has made "significant progress." (AP)
All-Pro outside linebacker Aldon Smith will continue to receive his full salary from the 49ers for the duration of the time he remains away from the team, sources confirmed to CSNBayArea.com on Wednesday.
Smith, who entered in-patient treatment for substance abuse this week, has a base salary of $1.68 million this season. The 49ers will pay him his weekly salary of $98,978 during his leave of absence. Smith will not return to action until it is deemed he has made "significant progress," a source said.
The 49ers placed Smith on the reserve/non-football illness list this week. Smith is eligible to return this season and there is no minimum length of time he has to be out, according to the NFL.
Smith was arrested Friday morning in San Jose on suspicion of driving under the influence and possession of marijuana. He was arrested in January of 2012 in Miami on suspicion of DUI, a charge that was later reduced to reckless driving.
The 49ers decided to allow Smith to play in Sunday’s against the Indianapolis Colts before he took a leave of absence and entered treatment on Monday.
Smith is likely to face a suspension without pay or fine from the NFL after his latest incident is adjudicated. Smith’s first court appearance is scheduled for Nov. 4.
There is no precedent for the NFL to take into account Smith’s absence from the team this season when it comes to determining the discipline he will face. But Smith is also in a rare situation of voluntarily seeking treatment during the season.
Under normal circumstances, as a repeat violator of league policy, Smith is likely to face a suspension of two to four games. Next season, Smith is scheduled to make $2.336 million. Any suspension in 2014 would cost Smith more than $137,000 per week.
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Smith's original contract is set to expire after the 2014 season. The 49ers are allowed under the NFL's collective bargaining agreement to begin negotiating a contract extension with Smith after the current season.
Smith, the No. 7 overall pick in the 2011 draft, was voted as the winner of the Bill Walsh Award last season as the 49ers' most valuable player. He recorded 33.5 sacks in his first two NFL seasons -- the most for any player since the NFL began regarding the sack as an official statistic. Smith has a team-leading 3.5 sacks in three games this season.