49ers have until May 3 to pick up Smith's fifth-year option

49ers have until May 3 to pick up Smith's fifth-year option
April 14, 2014, 9:45 am
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In 43 career regular-season games, Aldon Smith has 42 quarterback sacks. (AP)

General manager Trent Baalke expressed “disappointment” on Sunday after the latest incident involving 49ers outside linebacker Aldon Smith.

Smith was arrested and booked for making a false report of a bomb threat at Los Angeles International Airport, authorities said. He was released Sunday evening on $20,000 bail.

[RELATED: Police: Smith 'appeared' to have been drinking before arrest]

Smith is entering the fourth year of his original five-year contract as the No. 7 overall pick in the 2011 draft. Per the NFL’s collective bargaining agreement, the team has until May 3 to exercise an automatic fifth-year option for 2015.

The fifth-year option for players chosen within the top 10 picks in the draft is the transition tag salary. The 49ers can secure Smith for a fifth season in 2015 at $9.754 million. He is scheduled to earn $2.336 million in 2014.

If the 49ers pick up the option, Smith's 2015 salary would be guaranteed for injury and it would become fully guaranteed if Smith is on the 49ers’ roster at the beginning of the 2015 league year.

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Last month at the NFL owners meetings, Baalke declined to say whether the 49ers would exercise the option, though other sources said there was no question the 49ers would make the decision to hold onto Smith’s rights for a fifth season.

Even with the Smith’s latest legal problems, there does not appear to be any downside to picking up the fifth-year option for one of the game’s top pass-rushers. In 43 career regular-season games, Smith has 42 quarterback sacks.

Neither the 49ers nor Ben Dogra, Smith’s agent, immediately responded to requests for comment.

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