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San Francisco 49ers will have to make Aldon Smith decision before knowing legal fate

San Francisco 49ers will have to make Aldon Smith decision before knowing legal futureAldon Smith could face a crucial prove-it year next season if the 49ers opt to not pick up his option. (John W. McDonough/SI)

In a perfect world, the San Francisco 49ers would know the legal ramifications of the charges facing Aldon Smith before making a decision on his future with the team.

Smith was arrested after making a bomb threat at Los Angeles International Airport in early April, and he also faces three felony weapons charges dating back to 2013.

But unfortunately, it's not a perfect world and San Francisco will need to make a decision on the future of Aldon Smith before knowing his pending legal fate.

Shockingly, it doesn't appear as if Smith's alleged bomb threat will be a significant threat to his future; it's possible he'll only be charged with a misdemeanor. The gun charges, however, each carry a felony count along with possible jail time.

MORE: 2014 NFL Mock Draft | 2014 NFL draft needs: AFC | NFL draft needs: NFC

Regardless, the 49ers will have to either exercise or decline Smith's fifth year option by May 3, before knowing what's to come for the Pro Bowl talent.

Smith, 24, is facing DUI charges related to the September incident in which he was found at the wheel of a vehicle that came to a stop in a residential front yard. He also faces three felony counts of illegal possession of assault weapons that were found at his home in the aftermath of a raucous 2012 party that ended with Smith being stabbed in the abdomen.

It’s possible the case could be resolved before Smith’s next court date. But that probably won’t occur before Saturday [May 3], the deadline for triggering the fifth-year option on Smith’s contract.

Smith's fifth-year option, if exercised, would pay him $9.8 million dollars in 2015.

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