* NFL source: Chris Culliver was with Aldon Smith in the Southwest terminal on Sunday, same flight, but was not involved in any of the trouble. Culliver is not presumed to have been spending time with Smith in LA. It’s possible Culliver just happened to be there and was flying back on same flight. But the source did allow that it is a wild convergence that the two 49ers players currently under felony charges were together when Smith was detained in another potentially very serious incident. Just that kind of off-season. -Right to the point: My view, after talking to several sources involved with the 49ers’ decision-making, is that troubled linebacker Aldon Smith hasn’t only lost the benefit of the doubt, he probably won’t play for the 49ers in 2014. That doesn’t mean the 49ers will release him any time soon–remember, he almost certainly will face NFL punishment, it probably won’t be lenient, and the 49ers will probably wait through the legal and NFL processes before making any final conclusion. They also are on the hook for a guaranteed $3M+ to Smith and have time to see how this plays out before dumping him and throwing away the money (and letting him have the money for nothing, by the way). But there is a weariness and frustration over Smith’s behavior that I’ve never heard involving any recent 49ers player. Until this week. And this is coming from people with the team who defended Smith full-tilt after his DUI arrest last September and emphasized back then that he voluntarily was seeking help, which was a clear sign that he was ready to address his problems. It’s a very, very different tone now. Starkly different. 49ers management–owner Jed York and GM Trent Baalke and the York family and everyone in there–is embarrassed and absolutely should be. I’m told that Jim Harbaugh joins the consensus on this issue, too. I’m also told that the weariness and frustration is mostly focused on Smith, and that team management supports Colin Kaepernick through the “suspicious incident” that Miami police are still investigating and that the 49ers are not planning to release Culliver despite his felony and misdemeanor hit-and-run charges recently. Will there be a team statement on all the legal issues? I’m told the 49ers understand the PR nightmare, but that there will likely be no statement until at least after Smith’s April 29 before a Santa Clara County district judge. Point blank: The 49ers will let the legal process play out for Smith and there are not many expectations for him other than that, the source said. Left unsaid: The 49ers now believe that Smith got himself into this and he has to figure a way out, without their coddling, and that probably means he will not suit up for the team this season.
Report: 49ers embattled Aldon Smith's roster spot in danger
San Jose Mercury News | Apr 15