Within the last year, the 49ers have cut multiple impact defenders – Ray McDonald and Aldon Smith – following repeated legal run-ins. However, the team has yet to make a decision on whether or not to follow suit with Ahmad Brooks, the latest Niner to face charges. For now, Brooks remains on the roster, but is away from the club indefinitely.
“Ahmad is still a member of this team,” 49ers general manager Trent Baalke told reporters today, including Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com. “We excused him from team activities to get on top of this … Obviously, when you’re in a situation like this, it’s important that you get back to your family. It’s also important for him to start taking care of business on his end. And it’s our job to stay focused here on what we need to stay focused on
Brooks, who is facing a sexual battery charge, was accused of assault and battery, false imprisonment, and infliction of emotional distress by the same alleged victim in the McDonald case. The accusation against Brooks came about following a defamation lawsuit McDonald filed against his accuser in March.
At the time, McDonald was a free agent and claimed the woman defamed him and interfered with his livelihood as he struggled to find his next team. In a cross complaint filed in May, she alleges that Brooks “groped her person in a sexual manner” when she was passed out from hitting her head. Having known about Brooks’ alleged involvement since May, the 49ers knew the charges would likely be coming.
“The one thing that we have to realize is this is not a new matter,” Baalke said. “This is a new development within that matter. Our players are well aware of the consequence that go along with their actions and are supportive of it. But they also understand that every situation is different.”
In 2014, Brooks arrived at 49ers’ camp out of shape and was benched twice during the season for off-the-field actions. This year, there was some speculation that his legal situation, coupled with the presence of young linebackers, could put Brooks on the roster bubble. Now that charges have been filed, with roster cutdowns around the corner, the team will soon have to make a decision one way or the other on the outside linebacker.