San Francisco 49ers outside linebacker Aldon Smith had his latest legal proceeding today, and we remain without a resolution. The next court date is set for May 12. The Tuesday hearing was basically a status conference, giving the judge a chance to see where the case was situated.
The two sides have had quite a bit of time to negotiate some kind of plea bargain, but we don't know how much negotiation there has been. The LAX incident happened after the last court date, so it is possible that impacted any potential negotiations, but again, we're in the dark as to where this case is actually situated.
Where this gets particularly "interesting" (if you want to call it that) is the fact that the 49ers have until this Saturday to decide on Aldon Smith's 5th year option. The 49ers wanted some kind of resolution because that would help clear the air on Smith's availability this year and beyond. Instead, the 49ers likely have to make the option decision without some important information. This also comes as the L.A. City Attorney has reportedly requested more information as they figure out Smith's misdemeanor bomb threat case.
The NFL will decide at some point on punishment for Smith, but this will be delayed while we wait for more on the case. This is just as much a factor in the option stuff. Aldon conceivably should not get a huge suspension, but the inconsistencies of NFL justice means nothing is guaranteed. I think given where things stand, the 49ers pick up Aldon's option, but facing this lack of information makes it a hard situation to sort out. In the meantime, Matt Barrows had an interesting breakdown of some options for the 49ers and Aldon Smith.