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49ers Prove Willingness to Work with Aldon Smith

Posted May 2, 2014

San Francisco committing to its prized outside linebacker for the 2015 season backs up general manager Trent Baalke's recent statements.

San Francisco 49ers general manager Trent Baalke said he hoped Aldon Smith would be with the team in “’16 and ‘17 and ’18.”

Smith is now signed through at least 2015.

The team picked up the All-Pro outside linebacker’s fifth-year, rookie contract option on Friday afternoon. NFL teams had until 9 p.m. PT to exercise such clauses. 

On the field, Smith has been spectacular in his three seasons with the organization. Since Baalke made him the seventh overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, the Missouri product has racked up 42 sacks in 43 games, the league’s second-highest total over that span.

Under the direction of defensive coordinator Vic Fangio, Smith was eased into the rotation at outside ‘backer during his rookie campaign, mostly entering the game in pass-rush situations.

In the two seasons since, Smith has become an every-down player with improved coverage skills while maintaining his production in the opposition's backfield. His 19.5 sacks in 2012 represent the franchise’s single-season high.

Smith was arrested late last month in Los Angeles but received support from Baalke.

“I’m a firm believer in the humanistic approach to everything,” the GM said during his annual pre-draft briefing. “You continue to work, just as you would with any family member. We’re a family. You don’t just open the door and toss people out of it.

“We’re going to work with him. We’re going to continue to find ways to support, not defend.”


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