Linebacker Aldon Smith was arrested Thursday for suspicion of driving under the influence, hit-and-run and vandalism, marking his fifth arrest since being drafted in 2011, his third for DUI. While the San Francisco 49ers had stood by him in the past, on Friday they decided enough was enough, and released the linebacker who meant so much to them on the field, even though players and coaches vowed to stand by him in his time of need.

“This organization has tried very hard to help Aldon fight his issues,” the 49ers said in a statement announcing his release. “Although he is no longer a member of this team, our support and concern for him will continue.”

The Santa Clara Police Department said Smith was arrested on Thursday night. He is accused of hitting a car while parking, causing vandalism by hitting the same car with his door when exiting his vehicle, and then leaving the scene, police said, adding that Smith later returned to his car and was arrested.

Smith, 25, who had been in training camp this week, was suspended for nine games last season after a previous DUI arrest and weapons violations. After his release from jail on Friday, he denied he was driving under the influence on Thursday night. “The situation that happened could have been handled differently,” Smith said. “I apologize to everybody I did let down and I apologize for how it all played out.” He was released on $26,000 bail and had his arraignment set for Oct. 6.

Smith was arrested at Los Angeles International Airport in April 2014 during an incident police said stemmed from a false bomb threat he made to security screeners. Prosecutors declined to file charges. In 2013, he was charged with possessing illegal assault weapons and driving under the influence and later pleaded no contest to the charges, resulting in a three-year probation sentence, according to the Mercury News.

A 2012 Pro Bowler, Smith has amassed 44 sacks in 50 games since San Francisco selected him with the seventh pick in the 2011 NFL Draft. He recorded 14 sacks in his rookie season and 19.5 sacks in his second year, but had just two sacks in seven games last season. Smith reworked his contract in March, moving from a $9.75 million guaranteed deal into a package featuring a $1 million base salary and monthly roster bonuses.

49ers general manager Trent Baalke was not present during the announcement of Smith’s release, and it was later discovered that he was actually with Smith during that time. “And spent hours with him and hours with him,” Baalke said, according to The Sacramento Bee. “And made sure we felt comfortable that he was in a place where we felt he was going to be OK. This isn’t about football. Everyone wants to make this about football. This has nothing to do with football right now. It has everything to do with a human being and a quality, quality person … there’s a lot of emotion. Players have it, we have it, we have it on the personnel side, coaches — everyone in this building. I mean, [Friday] was a tough day for a lot of people.”

“We’ve played games without Aldon before, in 2013, when he missed the five games and we went 5-0 in that stretch,” Baalke said. “But you don’t replace … I mean, it’s going to take a team effort. We feel good about the group. Any time there’s an injury or a circumstance where a player loses time, it’s an opportunity for the next man to step up.

“But right now I want to respect the job Aldon did. Tremendous football person, and tremendous person who’s made some mistakes. He understands that. We all understand that and certainly wish him all the best moving forward. I’m confident he’ll get all the help he needs and do what it takes to get himself ready to play again.”

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