The 49ers exercised the fifth-year option on linebacker Aldon Smith on Friday, the team announced. It's worth $9.75 million in 2015, and is only guaranteed if he suffers a major injury in 2014, and becomes fully guaranteed next March.
The decision comes hours before the midnight deadline for a team to pick up the option, and several weeks after Smith was arrested at Los Angeles International Airport and charged with "false report of a bomb threat." There was a report at the time that Smith might not play for San Francisco in 2014, and that the team wouldn't be inclined to pick up Smith's fifth-year option.
With the latter out of the way, the former is a near certainty, even if the league decides to suspend Smith at some point.
Last week, 49ers general manager Trent Baalke said of Smith's latest legal entanglement: "We're a family. You don't just open a door and toss people out of it."
In 43 NFL games, Smith, the team's 2011 first-round pick, has 42 sacks.