49ers coach Jim Harbaugh sent his players off for summer vacation with one final piece of advice Thursday, Lindsay Jones of USA Today reports.
“Beware with whom you associate,” Harbaugh said.
“Very important to know your surroundings. Friend or foe? There always seems to be a foe present.”
Harbaugh didn’t specify an event that led to his remarks, but he could have been alluding to a number of events in recent months, from linebacker Aldon Smith’s multiple incidents to a sexual assault investigation involving quarterback Colin Kaepernick, from which he was ultimately cleared without any charges or an arrest.
Kaepernick agreed with Harbaugh’s message, and it reinforces what he said he’s learned since a woman accused him of assault this spring. Police in Miami found no evidence of any crime.
The incident made Kaepernick more guarded, and certainly more cautious, about whom he allows to get close to him.
“You want to keep good people around at all times, regardless of where you’re at,” Kaepernick said.
Smith didn’t take Harbaugh’s message personally.
“He was talking to everybody, because anybody can be in a situation,” Smith said.
Smith was among the most energetic and active players during the minicamp, but he faces an uncertain future. Smith will be sentenced July 25 after he pleaded no contest to DUI and felony weapons charges last month. He could receive as many as four years in jail, and he could receive additional punishment from the NFL.
Smith’s sentencing hearing comes two days after he’s set to report to training camp.
“I don’t know what’s going to happen. I’m going to enjoy my month,” Smith said.