49ers’ Smith: ‘Best shape’ ever entering camp
SANTA CLARA, Calif. — Aldon Smith said hours before the San Francisco 49ers started training camp Thursday that he has stayed sober since last September, when he was arrested for drunk driving for the second time since Jan. 2012.
“I’ve been able to maintain and it’s going good,” Smith told reporters when asked about his sobriety. “I’m in the best shape I’ve been in coming into a camp, and my mind is probably in the best spot it’s been in, so I’m feeling great.”
Michael Zagaris/Getty ImagesAldon Smith says he has been sober since last fall and is looking at training camp this year as a clean slate after past legal troubles.
The star pass-rusher is looking at the start of training camp as a clean slate. Smith was sentenced to 11 days of work release last week in a Santa Clara County, California, court after his Sept. 2013 arrest for drunk driving. Also, Smith had three felony gun charges knocked down to misdemeanors last week.
Smith confirmed an ESPN.com report that he will meet with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell “in the near future” in New York, although an exact date has not been set. The meeting will be held to discuss his off-field issues. Potential discipline could be handed down by Goodell shortly after the meeting. Goodell routinely has met with troubled players at the league offices before making disciplinary decisions.
Smith voluntarily missed five games last season when he entered a substance-abuse treatment center. In October, in London, Goodell told reporters Smith’s aggressive approach to his problem could be considered when potential discipline was addressed.
“That’s in their hands,” 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh said of a potential NFL suspension. “They will discipline if they feel he warrants it.”
In April, Smith was arrested on an alleged fake bomb threat. The Los Angeles City Attorney’s office declined to press charges. Smith is set to meet with legal officials in Los Angeles on July 30 to discuss and close the matter.
Smith, the No. 7 overall draft pick in 2011, has 42 sacks in 43 regular-season games.
“He’s going through a process which is accounting for mistakes he made,” Harbaugh said. “He’s been given an opportunity to say what he’s going to do, and so far he’s doing that.”