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Outside linebacker Aldon Smith is one of just 12 players from the first round of the 2011 draft class who has yet to have his fifth-year option exercised.
Smith, the 49ers’ selection at No. 7 overall, is by far the most accomplished player in that group of players. Smith's off-field issues are the only reasons the 49ers have not already made the decision public.
Smith is clearly the one who does not belong in a group of players who have not had their fifth-year options exercised. The list includes:
--Three players who are not eligible for fifth-year options because they are longer with the teams that drafted them and are on different contracts. San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Jon Baldwin falls into this category. The 49ers traded for Baldwin last summer but he accepted a dramatic pay cut in February to remain with the 49ers in the offseason. Offensive linemen Danny Watkins and Gabe Carimi are also ineligible for the fifth-year option.
--Three quarterbacks who have not proven to be starting caliber. That includes 49ers backup Blaine Gabbert, whom the 49ers acquired in a trade with the Jacksonville Jaguars, as well as Jake Locker and Christian Ponder.
--And five players who simply have not produced up to expectations, for various reasons: Nick Fairley, Adrian Clayborn, James Carpenter, Mark Ingram and Derek Sherrod.
Teams have until Friday, 9 p.m. (PT) to provide written notice to the player that they are picking up the fifth-year option. Here’s a rundown of the 2011 first round and their fifth-year option status:
The transition tag of 2014 for a one-year deal in 2015:
1. QB Cam Newton (Carolina): Picked up, $14.666 million
2. LB Von Miller (Denver): Picked up, $9.754 million
3. DL Marcell Dareus (Buffalo): Picked up, $8.060 million
4. WR A.J. Green (Cincinnati): Picked up, $10.176 million
5. CB Patrick Peterson (Arizona): Picked up, $10.081
6. WR Julio Jones (Atlanta): Picked up, $10.176 million
7. LB Aldon Smith (49ers): Undecided
8. QB Jake Locker (Tennessee): Expected to be declined
9. OT Tyron Smith (Dallas): Picked up, $10.039 million
10. QB Blaine Gabbert (49ers): Expected to be declined
The average salary of players ranked third to 25th in salary for that position for a one-year deal in 2015:
11. DL J.J. Watt (Houston): Picked up, $6.969 million
12. QB Christian Ponder (Minnesota): Expected to be declined
13. DT Nick Fairley (Detroit): Expected to be declined
14. DE Robert Quinn (St. Louis): Picked up, $6.969 million
15. C Mike Pouncey (Miami): Picked up, $7.438 million
16. OLB Ryan Kerrigan (Washington): Picked up, $7.038 million
17. OT Nate Solder (New England): Picked up, $7.438 million
18. DL Corey Liuget (San Diego): Picked up, $6.969 million
19. CB Prince Amukamara (N.Y. Giants): Picked up, $6.898 million
20. DE Adrian Clayborn (Tampa Bay): Expected to be declined
21. DT Phil Taylor (Cleveland): Picked up, $5.477 million
22. OT Anthony Castonzo (Indianapolis): Picked up, $7.438 million
23. OG Danny Watkins (ex-Philadelphia): Ineligible, currently a free agent.
24. DL Cameron Jordan (New England): Picked up, $6.969 million
25. OT James Carpenter (Seattle): Expected to be declined
26. WR Jon Baldwin (49ers): Ineligible due to restructured contract this offseason
27. CB Jimmy Smith (Baltimore): Picked up, $6.898 million
28. RB Mark Ingram (New Orleans): Expected to be declined
29. OT Gabe Carimi (Atlanta): Ineligible due to being cut and clearing waivers
30. DE Muhammad Wilkerson (N.Y. Jets): Picked up, $6.969 million
31. DE Cameron Heyward (Pittsburgh): Picked up, $6.969 million
32. OT Derek Sherrod (Green Bay): Expected to be declined