The clock is ticking on the 49ers’ decision regarding linebacker Aldon Smith’s fifth-year option.
Per multiple sources, the team still hasn’t resolved whether to extend his four-year rookie contract by one year to the 2015 season.
The 49ers, we’re told, have met with Smith in advance of making their decision. By rule, the option must be exercised by May 3. If he’s not provided written notice of the intention to extend the contract on or before May 3, he’ll be eligible for free agency after the 2014 season.
The option would give Smith a $9.75 million salary for 2015, guaranteed for injury only. Multiple off-field issues have made the 49ers leery about extending the commitment. There’s a belief that the 49ers want to get Smith’s attention — and that if not exercising the option is what it takes to get Smith’s attention, they’re willing to do it.
They’re apparently willing to do it even if it means not having him under contract beyond 2014, if they get his attention and he continues to register on average nearly one sack per game.