49ers' Aldon Smith: 'Best shape' ever

ESPNAPI_IMG_NO_ALTEXT_Value

SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- Aldon Smith said hours before the San Francisco 49ers started training camp Thursday that he has stayed sober since September, when he was arrested and charged with drunken driving for the second time since January 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."

The star pass-rusher is viewing the start of training camp as a clean slate. Smith was sentenced to 12 days of work release last week in a Santa Clara County court after his September 2013 arrest for drunken 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. In the meeting they will discuss his off-the-field issues, and Goodell could discipline him shortly afterward. 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 that the league might consider Smith's aggressive approach to his problem could be considered when potential discipline would be 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 for 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 Wednesday 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."

-- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 24703233.
Join the Discussion
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
You Might Also Like...