It's such a disjointed mess, with so many odd twists, turns and disparate developments, let's just call it the Aldon Smith Situation.
That works nicely, because the sports world loves its acronyms, and what's a more apt acronym for what the 49ers are facing than ASS?
Throughout his star-crossed career, Smith has pretty much behaved like a what? ASS.
Desperate to clean up its collective image as an organization rife with degenerate creeps in shoulder pads, the NFL views Smith and his law-breaking brethren as a pain in the what? ASS.
Similarly fed up with such louts, and frustrated that turnkey cases such as that of Aaron Hernandez are the exception rather than the rule, most everybody clinging to the notion that our generally imbalanced justice system still has the ability to mete out punishments that'll serve as effective crime deterrents would love to lock up Smith's what? ASS.
Meanwhile the 49ers, as well as some of their imbalanced fans and their imbalanced head coach, continue to defend and protect Smith because they're worried that without his otherworldly talents as a quarterback crusher, they'll get kicked their what? ASS.
It is, again, nothing short of a mess, with clashing agendas galore. And what typically happens in such cases is exactly what's going to happen in this case: Nobody is going to be remotely satisfied when it's all said and done.
The NFL? No matter what they do with Smith, no matter how decisively they act, the impact won't last. They'll be dealing with another case just like it before you know it. And if you haven't considered the ticking time bomb that is the steroids issue, now might be a good time.
The justice system? Come on. Smith won't spend a single day in prison and we all know it. If he does, it'll be a massive upset victory, but he'll get early release for good behavior, and the moment he steps back onto the field -- and he will -- that victory will ring hollow.
And the 49ers? They're going to have to learn to live without Smith for a good chunk of time, and with the learnin' will come some losin'. Even if it doesn't, they've already lost credibility. Smith on the field against the Indianapolis Colts two days after his DUI arrest in September sewed up that loss for eternity.
Incredibly, Smith himself is probably going to be the only one who emerges from this largely intact.
Sure, he might lose a few game checks. Maybe even a year's worth. But what he'll get in return could be even more valuable, assuming what he gets is legitimate professional help for whatever issues he's wrestling.
Not five weeks of, "Chill out here for a bit while things settle down out there." That clearly didn't work. We're talking real treatment.
And if he gets it, and truly participates in it, that otherworldly talent is going to allow him to make up whatever he loses in 2014 game checks and then some.
If not from the Niners, he'll get a huge contract elsewhere, and his redemption story will be bankable in other ways, too.
Mychael Urban, a longtime Bay Area-based sportswriter and broadcaster, is the host of "Inside the Bigs," which airs every Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon on KGMZ "The Game" (95.7 FM).