San Francisco 49ers linebacker Aldon Smith has been suspended for nine NFL games following a number of incidents including making a false bomb threat and two arrests for driving under the influence.
“Our organization has known this decision would come and we have prepared for it as a team,” the team’s general manager Trent Baalke said in a statement. “We will continue to support him, but it is time to put this matter behind us and focus on the season ahead.”
Smith has a long list of transgressions to his name. He was charged with possession of illegal assault rifles and driving under the influence in May and pleaded no contest. He faced another DUI charge in 2012. Smith was also arrested in April at Los Angeles International Airport for allegedly suggesting that he was carrying a bomb, but formal charges were never filed.
The punishment means the 49ers will be without a key player for most of the regular season this year. Smith will be eligible to return to the field in November.