By Ivan Huang
Unfortunate events have unfolded for the National Football League and San Francisco 49ers fans. Just weeks after the DeSean Jackson debacle with the Philadelphia Eagles, two of the 49ers most important players find themselves in trouble with the law.
Aldon Smith and Colin Kaepernick, who are both also in the midst of contract negotiations, made headlines, but not in a good way.
Kaepernick, 49ers receiver Quinton Patton and Seattle Seahawks receiver Ricardo Lockette were recently named in a Miami police investigation. Days later, Smith was taken into custody at Los Angeles International Airport for claiming he had a bomb.
This all happened just a few weeks after San Francisco cornerback Chris Culliver was involved in a hit-and-run incident.
While the NFL may take some action against one or more of the players, it is too early to tell if they will miss any games next season.
But these reports have already caused some sports writers to say that the 49ers should release Smith, and take some precaution before offering Kaepernick a market-value contract.
Smith and Kaepernick are two of the top players on the 49ers, and not having them in red and gold will surely impact the future of the franchise.
Culliver is also a key player because the 49ers have lost both of their starting cornerbacks since the end of last season.
Although these players are having major off-field issues, it would not be a good idea to release a player the caliber of Smith because his physical attributes are unmatched in the NFL.
Culliver’s case may just be too big for the 49ers to hang on to him. The team might be better off drafting a cornerback in May.
In a league where good quarterbacks are both rare and a necessity, the 49ers have no choice but to wait on the results of Kaepernick’s investigation and put his huge contract extension on hold.
It is safe to say the 49ers have a lot to deal with this offseason after being eliminated in the NFC championship game by Super Bowl XLVIII-winning Seattle Seahawks.
49ers president Jed York should look at Seattle as the model franchise, because they succeeded in a way that the 49ers did not two years ago when they played the Ravens in Super Bowl XLVII.
In my opinion, the 49ers are the only team in the NFC that is able to match helmet-for-helmet what the Seahawks have to offer.
The NFC West division is quickly becoming the toughest division in the NFL as the Arizona Cardinals and St. Louis Rams are only getting better this offseason.
With Super Bowl L coming to the 49er’s new Levi’s Stadium in 2016, the 49ers need to make sure they get rid of these off-field issues before they fall out of contention and see two different teams compete on their own field in Santa Clara.