Time is not on the 49ers side, when it comes to exercising the option for Aldon Smith, but it looks like the sky might be a little brighter for the former Missouri linebacker who was recently arrested.
Reports leaked quickly after Smith’s arrest for the alleged bomb threat that San Francisco was unlikely to pick up the near $10 million dollar option, but that doesn’t appear to be the case, according to CBS’ Jason La Canfora.
“The 49ers decision on Aldon Smith, given his extensive off-field issues, will be watched closely,” writes La Canfora, “with several league sources anticipating [ultimately] San Francisco will exercise that option for 2015.”
While Smith has these pending cases, the 49ers have until Saturday to make a football decision on Smith. That is the deadline for NFL teams to decide whether to give a fifth-year option for the 2015 season for players who were drafted in the first round in 2011. The option on Smith is $9.75 million.
If they don’t exercise the option, but decide later that they’d want Smith back in 2015, the 49ers would have to give him a long-term deal or apply the franchise tag on him, which would likely be in the $12 million-$13 million range. If not, he will be a free agent in 2014.