49ers pick up fifth-year option on LB Aldon Smith

Aldon Smith will be in San Francisco through 2015. (USATSI)
Aldon Smith will be in San Francisco through 2015. (USATSI)

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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.

CBS Sports Writer

Ryan Wilson has been an NFL writer for CBS Sports since June 2011, and he's covered five Super Bowls in that time. Ryan previously worked at AOL's FanHouse from start to finish, and Football Outsiders... Full Bio

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