Aldon Smith, the talented but troubled 49ers outside linebacker, says the team continues to support him because the people who know him know he’s a good person.
“The 49ers have supported me,” Smith told CSNBayArea.com. “As you can see, the option [for the 2015 season] got picked up. And if I was a thug or something, I don’t think they’d take those chances.”
The 24-year-old Smith is one of the best pass rushers in the NFL, but incidents ranging from drunk driving to weapons charges to allegedly making a bomb threat at an airport have led to some talk that the team might have no choice but to get rid of him. Smith, however, says there are misperceptions about what kind of man he is.
“I’m a good person, and the people who know me know I’m a good person,” Smith said. “Maybe after this is over, you can tell your friends I’m a good person. Anybody who hangs around me can tell that. A lot of these things are being painted in a picture that’s not true.”
It’s possible that legal issues or NFL discipline will keep Smith out of a 49ers uniform when the season starts. But for now, Smith feels good about having the 49ers’ support.