UNSUPPORTED BROWSER
Audibles

Ronnie Lott expresses concern for 49ers LB Aldon Smith 'as an individual'

San Francisco 49ers legend Ronnie Lott expresses concern for Aldon Smith Linebacker Aldon Smith's off-field troubles have jeopardized his promising NFL career. (Jed Jacobsohn/SI)

San Francisco 49ers linebacker Aldon Smith was back in the headlines for all the wrong reasons over the weekend, when he was arrested at the Los Angeles International Airport Sunday for making a false bomb threat.

One of the travelers who witnessed the scene from afar happened to be Pro Football Hall of Famer Ronnie Lott, a centerpiece of the 49ers' defense from 1981-90 whose jersey number was retired in San Francisco after his playing days were over.

Lott didn't realize it was Smith causing the scene at first, but when he did, he became worried for the young pass rusher.

MORE: 49ers sign wide receiver Brandon Lloyd | SI's top 64 prospects in 2014 NFL draft

“I felt bad for him,” Lott said, via Daniel Brown of the San Jose Mercury News. “He’s got so much ahead of him as a person. Forget football -- as a person. I’m worried about him as an individual. ... I’m sure that the people that are working with him with the 49ers will do a good job. They have very good people.”

While many people wonder what the latest arrest could mean for Smith's future with the team, Lott recognized Smith as a troubled young man who needs help. The responsibility will ultimately fall back on Smith's shoulders to keep himself in line.

“I’m always amazed because you work so hard to get there [to the NFL],” Lott said. “But once you’re there, you have to figure out how to do more: You have other responsibilities. Now that you’re there, you have to be responsible.”

Smith has been released on $20,000 bail since his arrest, but he could face up to a year in jail for the false bomb threat. Police also believe that alcohol may have been a factor in Smith's actions.

If alcohol was involved, it is a troubling sign given Smith's history of alcohol abuse. He missed a few weeks during the 2013 season after being checked in to a treatment facility, and this newest incident could be a warning that Smith is falling back down that dangerous path.

MORE: 2014 NFL Mock Draft | Top WRs | Top TEs | Top QBs | Top RBs | Top tackles

More Audibles

Close

To continue enjoying content from the most trusted name is sports, please be sure to update your current bookmark.

Our updated web address is http://www.si.com.

To continue enjoying content from the most trusted name is sports, please be sure to update your current bookmark.

Just follow these 4 easy steps:

  1. Click the Chrome menu on the browser toolbar.
  2. Select Bookmarks.
  3. Select Bookmark manager.
  4. Locate your current Sports Illustrated bookmark, click the Organize menu, then select Edit. You can now easily update the web address of your Sports Illustrated bookmark.

    Our updated web address is http://www.si.com.

To continue enjoying content from the most trusted name is sports, please be sure to update your current bookmark.

Just follow these 2 easy steps:

  1. Click the Safari bookmark manager on the browser toolbar.
  2. This will open the Bookmarks Bar. In the Bookmarks Bar, select your Sports Illustrated bookmark and manually edit the Address field.

    Our updated web address is http://www.si.com.

To continue enjoying content from the most trusted name is sports, please be sure to update your current bookmark.

Just follow these 3 easy steps:

  1. Click the Firefox bookmark manager on the browser toolbar.
  2. Select Show All Bookmarks.
  3. This will open the library window. In the Library window, select your Sports Illustrated bookmark and manually edit the Location field.

    Our updated web address is http://www.si.com.
Don't Show This Again