49ers exercise Aldon Smith’s fifth-year option

The 49ers announced Friday afternoon that they have exercised Aldon Smith’s fifth-year option. That means Smith probably will be on the 49ers at least two more seasons.

Do you think that means the 49ers will not take a pass rusher in the upcoming draft?

This article has 120 Comments

  1. No, I think they’ll still take a pass rusher somewhere in the top 100. They may have exercised the option, but there is no guarantee on how many games he will play this year, or that he won’t make another boneheaded decision before the end of 2015.

    Besides, you can never have too many pass rushers.

    1. You’re damn right Scooter. No such thing as too many quarterback hunters. Attaochu would still look pretty good in Scarlet and Gold…..

      1. Yep, and don’t be shocked to see them take another OLB in round 2 or 3. Trent Murphy could be a realistic target in the 3rd round, and eventual replacement for Ahmad Brooks.

        1. When have the 49ers carried more than four OLBs on the 53-man roster?

          1. When have they ever had more than 3 or 4 really talented OLBs? Keep in mind Skuta has the versatility to play ILB too – in fact he has more experience at ILB than OLB.

            Keeping up to 9 LBs for a 3-4 team is not unheard of. LBs are more valuable on STs than DL.

            Aldon, Brooks, Lemonier, Skuta and a rookie would not be too many OLBs on the roster.

            1. There is no precedent of Harbaugh carrying 5 OLBs. There is precedent of him carrying just three — 2011.

              Four OLBs is more than enough.

              1. 4 is enough, I agree. But 5 isn’t a ridiculous number to carry for a 3-4 team, especially when one of them provides the versatility to play ILB.

                It would be a different story if Aldon’s position on the team was secure, but exercising the option doesn’t mean he isn’t still on notice. Even if things work out with Aldon, I think there is a very real possibility they look to move Ahmad Brooks on after this season. They will be carrying a LOT of money in their LBs in 2015.

              2. Aldon Smith has two good backups — Skuta and Lemonier.

                Chris Culliver doesn’t have one good backup, and he has multiple on-the-field and off-the-field issues.

              3. As good as Brooks is, I think his price tag will make him a casualty and agree that this is probably his last year…..

              4. What is your point? I said the 49ers would still likely spend 1 of their 6 picks in the top 100 on an OLB. How does that preclude them from getting a CB or even 2?

              5. Because the 49ers probably will trade up and not pick six times in the first 100.

              6. Yeah, exactly razor. Too much money and cap space to invest on your 4th best LB.

              7. I agree they probably will Grant. I think they’ll end up with 4 or 5 picks in the top 100. In no particular order, WR, CB, DT/DE and OLB/DE. If they have a 5th pick in the top 100, an OL or TE.

              8. If the Niners carry 5 OLBs this year, at which position do the Niners carry one fewer player?

              9. Too soon to tell. We’d have to wait and see how the draft and training camp unfolds. But the team kept 10 LBs on the initial 53-man roster last year. They wouldn’t need to keep that many next season even with a 5th OLB. Bowman will be on PUP and Aldon could well be suspended.

          2. The 2014 OLB’s will be Smith, Brooks, Murphy, Lemonier.

    2. Feels like we have additional picks
      Considering we didnt play

  2. They will take a pass-rusher (DE/OLB hybrid), but likely it will be in the 2nd or 3rd round. I don’t think we’ll be trading up for an Anthony Barr or Dee Ford.

  3. I don’t think it ensures that Smith will be here past 2014. From what I understand that salary isn’t guaranteed so they can still cut him.

    They may be more likely to go after an interior pass rusher to replace McDonald or Dobbs.

    1. Paging Mr Easley… Could Mr Easley please come to the 49ers desk. A Mr Dominique Easley.

        1. If he is there at #56 they should be running up to the podium.

          There is talk he may go in the first round now, but I don’t see teams taking that risk on a guy with a history of bum knees. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him still available at #56.

          1. He looks like he could Easley put another 10 lbs of muscle on that frame.
            ^See what I did there?^

          1. Yeah, arm length is a concern with Easley. 32 7/8″ arms, a shade under the magical 33″ arm length you like to see. But, when you watch him play he is very active with his hands, and does a good job keeping an OL off his body.

            The biggest concerns with Easley (aside from his knees) are whether he’s really committed to football (he has confessed to barely ever watching football) and whether he can play with more discipline to maintain gap integrity.

            I’m willing to say yes to commitment as he’s worked very hard to come back from both his knee injuries – a guy that isn’t committed probably wouldn’t work that hard. As for the second, only time will tell. If he doesn’t clean that up then he’s a guy that will be hard to keep on the field for 3-downs as he’ll give up too many big plays to go along with his splash plays. But I think it is something he can be taught. That initial quickness and ability to split gaps to disrupt plays can’t be.

  4. I said it on the Kap thread and I’ll say it again here; Aldon will retire as a Forty Niner, A first ballot Hall of Famer and the proud owner of several Super Bowl rings earned as a QB sacking beast for the Forty-Niners. His 99 jersey will be retired along with 21, 52 and 7, the new generation of greats to have their numbers retired in our awesome new stadium. GO Niners!

  5. They hope to keep Aldon, but it has to play out through the Courts, NFL, and close scrutiny. The Niners are likely to draft one in top 100 as Scooter says. I doubt they trade up, but Ive seen Mocks where even Barr falls to them. I have a few reservations on Barr, but if they don’t, I’m good. Ford is a tad lighter than they like on the edge but has a great get-off. I’m good with Attaochu. It would be for future need; immediate help would be for icing on the cake.

    1. That’s right Brotha, any picks they make this year are with an eye to the future. Aldon’s position with the team and availability isn’t set in stone, Brooks is getting paid a lot of money which the team may want to invest elsewhere in the near future, and Skuta is off contract after 2014.

      1. When Skuta first arrived, I expected an outstanding special teams player. He really surprised me with what he showed last year. He’s strong, tough and tenacious…..

  6. I don’t think we will, because we have Carradine and Dial who didn’t play last year. It’s like we’re getting two high-rated rookies, a pass rushers and run stopper D-lineman, who actually know our scheme. If anything, we’ll bring some late rounders or undrafted players in to compete, or someone who’s injured and falls in the draft a la Tank Carradine. Otherwise, that’s about it.

  7. I don’t think the fifth-year option is an endorsement of Aldon or clue that the 49ers think Aldon can pull things together. It seems more like Baalke hedging his bets, with little financial risk since the 2015 money isn’t guaranteed.

    Though I don’t think the exercising the option will affect the 49ers draft, I do think the LAX indecent bumps pass rusher up a bit.

    I’m not privy to Baalke’s draft board (though I’ve been writing him weekly since 2010 asking if I can play with it)… but I do think Aldon and Culliver’s offseason has modified draft priorities a bit. A bit lower likelihood of a bold trade way up for Watkins or Evans.

    In an odd way, having three needs WR/CB/OLB allows Baalke a little more flexibility to go after BPA in the first. Usually Baalke “reaches” for the targeted first rounder, then goes after fallen BPA later.

  8. suggestion regarding Aldon Smith:

    spend a couple bucks and hire a personal assistant;
    a little extra babysitting, at least until the preseason;
    If it proves unnecessary, then quash it after the home opener.

    However, to leave him to his own devices…
    and then discover that was a mistake…
    I am calling that a much bigger risk (not just financially) than
    spending a few dollars now.
    How many fans actually believe he has bypassed/resolved
    his addiction issues? I say assign him some “accountability”…

    1. Suggestion regarding “the one and only Super Bowl monkey”

      spend a couple bucks and get a life

      I am part of the Press Democrat bloggers and I approve this message

    2. To the Monkees’ theme song:

      Here I come, walking down the street
      I get the funniest looks from everyone I meet.

      Hey, hey, I’m the Monkey
      And people say I monkey around,
      But I’m too busy scheming
      So I can put Harbaugh down.

      You know that I want to
      Do what I like to do,
      The only time I get restless
      Is around something new.

      Hey, hey, I’m the Monkey
      And people say I monkey around,
      But I’m too busy scheming
      So I can put Kaepernick down.

      I’m just trying to be friendly
      So come and say, “Hey, there’s the Monkey!”
      Because I’ll always be around,
      I’m so busy scheming
      To put any 49er down.

  9. Question for Grant and the bloggers – who is your draft crush (or crushes) this year, and why?

    Anyone that has read my posts will know mine are Odell Beckham Jr and Dominique Easley, but I’m interested to hear other fans’ favourites and reasons for liking them.

    1. Scooter
      Mine are kind of “Well, duh!” faves. Some of the top prospects look terrific. Clowney, yep. K. Mack and Watkins I’ll enjoy watching when they aren’t lined up against the Niners.

      1. Heh, yeah, I’ve not let myself watch much film on those guys as I’d prefer to not be disappointed the 49ers have little to no chance of getting them!

    2. My crushes are all plausible second rounders. On D I’m crushing on Jimmie Ward. I think he comes in as instant starter at nickel and will be starter at S in a year or two. I also like Phillip Gains. He would a started a corner next year. I like Allen Robinson. Especially if he can run his 4.5 at 220 instead of 209. A year at the gym would do that. I love the potential of Moncrief but that’s all he is right now, potential.

      1. I have 4 draft crushes, one first rounder and 3 late picks
        #1 Jason Verrett I think he is the 2nd best cover corner in the draft 2nd only to Darquez Dennard and he very well may be there at #30
        #’s 2,3 and 4 are Jeff Janis WR Saginaw valley Great hands, great speed, great size and i love a WR with a basketball backround. Then 2 redshirt picks at CB Dexter McDougle and Aaron Colvin i think we can get them both in the late 6th or 7 rd. They both can sit a yr then along with Verrett, Culliver and Brock the 9ers could be set at corner for 10 years.

        1. Yeah, I kind of agree with you on Verrett old coach. I would have him as my #1 CB if he was just 2 inches taller. He’s undervalued by many (including myself) simply due to his height. But put the film on and he’s as good as any CB in this draft.

          Janis is an interesting one – could be a draft steal in the later rounds.

          I haven’t done much homework on McDougle, but I agree the 49ers should look to draft one or two guys like McDougle, Colvin, etc. that will fall due to injury. Get some talent on the cheap for a team that doesn’t need them to contribute this year anyway.

      2. Nice ones Dude. I’m also very high on all of those guys bar Moncrief.

        I’ve been a big fan of Jimmie Ward since the Senior Bowl. If the 49ers stay at #30 I wouldn’t be against the 49ers taking him, have him compete/play as the slot CB this year and next, with an eye of taking over the SS role in the future. Gaines looks a perfect fit for a team like the 49ers – didn’t make a lot of splash plays in college but showed a good ability to stick with his receiver and break up the pass.

        And I think Robinson is the most underrated WR in this draft. If the 49ers don’t get Beckham I’d be very happy for them to get Robinson instead.

    3. I’ve kept this one under my hat but I like Trent Murphy in this draft. I’m also a big fan of Ben Gardner, Marion Grice and Christian Jones.

      1. Trent Murphy? I never would have guessed CfC! :-)

        Yeah, I’m right there with you on Gardner and Grice. Those two look like guys that will outperform their draft slot.

        Christian Jones I’m on the fence with. I like his physical tools, but unsure whether he’ll put it all together. If you get him in the 4th he’s another guy that could definitely outperform his draft slot. OLB or ILB?

        1. I realize I came out of nowhere with the Murphy pick. Jones is an ILB in my mind.

      1. Grant, definately on board with Dennard and Matthews. What do you think of Deone Bucannon as a future replacement for Bethea? Could he replace Spillman on ST?

      2. Yeah, nice ones Grant. I’m a definite fan of Dennard, can’t believe there are rumours he may slide on draft day. And I love Matthews’ approach to the game – from all reports it sounds like you won’t find a guy more dedicated to being the best he can be.

        I must admit I am coming round on Fales. He could well be a sneaky good pick. Unfortunately I just don’t think he fits the type of QB the 49ers look for.

      3. Do you like Fales better then Garoppolo or do you think he’s just better value?

          1. Would he be the QB you would build a team around? If so who would you hire as your OC, who’s system is the best fit to groom him with?

            1. Fales or Bortles. But I wouldn’t draft Bortles in the first round, so I’d probably end up building my team around Fales.

              I think Fales could operate in any pro-style offense.

              1. Still curious in your OC choice, if any name was available?

              2. I like him very much, but I prefer Fales and Bortles. Everything seemed to come so easily to Bridgewater in college. He played for a very talented team. I didn’t see him operate under pressure very often.

                What do you think of Bridgewater?

              3. May 3, 2014 at 4:19 pm
                Does Marc Trestman count?
                Yep. I like it.

              4. I think Bridgewater is the best QB in this draft. I take your point about a highly talented team, but on offense I think Bridgewater epitomised your point about what makes a QB great – he elevated the play of the guys around him. At least that is my opinion.

                If he does have a draft day slide to the 2nd round as some are predicting, I’d have no qualms with the 49ers taking him at #30 (assuming they can’t trade up or a really good WR or CB isn’t available at #30).

              5. Bridgewater elevated others’ play, and so did Bortles and Fales.

                I like all three. Bridgewater’s low wonderlic score is concerning. And he’s been in one system his whole college career. Fales has learned four systems.

              6. Yeah, they did as well. I think Bridgewater looks a better player than those two though. He does a lot of the little things very well – going through his progressions, stepping up in the pocket, quick release, accurate, looking off defenders. I think he’s as good or better than Bortles and Fales in each of these areas.

                I hadn’t seen his wonderlic score before now. 20 is below what you’d like to see (I’ve read before that some teams see around 26 as the minimum you’d prefer to see for a QB), but not shockingly bad either. Maybe he’ll struggle if he has to learn multiple systems over the years – sounds like he’d be best being drafted by a stable team where he can sit for a year and play in a consistent system. The 49ers would be perfect.

              7. I think Bortles and Fales have more potential, more room to grow. Each has been a starter for just two full seasons.

              8. If you’re the 49ers and Bridgewater sits there at 30, do you take him?

              9. Yes, I think they should razor, if the following happens:

                – They can’t find a trade partner to move up with.
                – None of Beckham, Dennard, Gilbert or Fuller are available at #30.
                – No team offers a nice trade package to move down.

                Its a funny situation in that there is a very real chance if they draft him that he is never needed. I usually wouldn’t even contemplate the idea of drafting a QB in the first round when you have a young QB with lots of potential and starting experience already on the roster. But I think he is great value at #30, and would provide a legitimate backup in case of injury. He’d also provide nice insurance in case Kaep doesn’t keep improving or the 49ers can’t agree an extension that suits both parties. And if he isn’t needed, I think the way Kaep plays he should still be able to get some game time here and there in the next few years, and they could parlay him into multiple top picks in the future.

                The 49ers can afford such a luxury pick as they have so many picks in the top 100 in a very deep draft.

              10. I wouldn’t touch Bridgewater with a 20 foot clown pole.

              11. Do you have any idea the kind of poop storm that would be caused by the 49ers taking any QB at #30 let alone Bridgewater?

              12. Yep, the media would love it – another QB controversy in the Bay to talk about!

                Way I see it, it is unlikely to happen, but if he is there at #30 then there is probably a good chance he’s the best value available. By all accounts the 49ers and Kaep are a fair way apart on any kind of deal, and the 49ers ideally don’t want to be in a situation at the end of this season where they either have to pay Kaep a motza (whether he deserves it or not), use the franchise tag, or overdraft a QB.

                If Kaep is too mentally brittle to handle the team drafting another QB early then he’s probably not the guy we want at the helm long term anyway. I don’t think that would be an issue though, as I think he’s pretty mentally strong.

              13. May 3, 2014 at 6:25 pm
                Why not?
                I think most of the busts that are truly disappointments or surprises had lots of tape that showed they were ready for the NFL. When you watch the tape from 80 different angles and talk to their elementary school janitor you’re trying to flush out those minuscule red flags that will tell you whether or not this guy truly is something special or just another great College football player that couldn’t translate to the next level. I think in the case of Bridgewater instead of there being a red flag tucked away in a nook it was exposed on the big stage, his pro day. Flubbing the pro day has given the league a major moment of pause because even though they want to believe he’s the guy on tape their gut says he’s the guy who showed up at his pro day.

                I think he’s the guy who showed up at his pro day. I think he gave the league a huge break and showed them what he’ll look like in practices. How can you show up at your pro day, a scripted catch session in your underwear and blow it? It’s unfortunate that more guys(Leaf, Akili Smith, etc.) didn’t have bad pro days to show the league who they really were.

            2. Razor
              If he’s still there at #30 the phones will be ringing! You’d have to consider it even though I don’t think it’s the plan going in.

    4. My draft crushes…

      Round 1 trade up – Lee, Barr
      Round 1 small trade up – Fuller
      Round 1 at 30 – Ford
      Round 2 – Van Noy, Benjamin, Garoppolo (Honorable Mention)
      Round 3 – Moncrief, Latimer, Adams
      Rounds 4 to 7 – Janis, Herron

  10. While Harbaugh rarely carries more than 4 OLB, it almost cost him when He ran out of OLB because of injuries and rehab. It would be prudent to carry and extra edge rusher to compensate for the possible loss of Aldon. It could be an 3-4 OLB or a 4-3 DE type. Here’s the problem, Fangio loves veteran players. There is no way he carries and extra player “just in case” that’s a rookie or hasn’t been in the system. He’s more likely to scheme differently and adapt to his veteran players than find new players to stick to a particular scheme.
    As an aside, I hope Easley falls to the third and we grab him there. Also wouldn’t mind seeing Baalke grab Shazier.

    1. A guy like attaoulu is interesting. Ford seems like like Von Miller Light. A couple of later choice possibilities.

      1. If you can’t remain healthy for a full season even once in college how can you possibly expect to hold up in the NFL. Ford is a 7-9 game a year type guy who’s a better candidate for an injury settlement then a pro bowl career.

  11. Well. Looks like we’ll be seeing this dirt ball for two more years. I know I’m in the minority but I was hoping the niners would part ways with the thug.

    1. He’s not a thug but he is a guy with substance misuse issues. Makes people do dumb things…

    2. Mr. Martinez
      In the spirit of confronting Hate Speech when it arises, that seems like an ignorant way to disagree with Adam.

  12. Hey Grant,

    It’s been 18+ hours since you posted your “basketball article”. You’ve generated 5 comments.
    How about sticking with Forty Niner topics on the Forty Niner blog, huh? Most of those, however anti-Niner most of them are, at least make for enjoyable reading. Please stop with baseball, basketball and any other topics that do not qualify under the blog name of “Inside the Forty Niners”. And before any of you lame wannabe Grant bodyguards pipe in with “well, he warned you in his header”, or “you don’t have to read it, blah, blah, blah”, I know and I didn’t read it. But, neither did anyone else!

      1. It is with both exhuberance and humility that I Accept your invitation Tuesday…..

    1. I might need to sit this one out unfortunately. Its looking like a big week at work for me next week, so won’t be able to commit to being available.

      1. Scooter if Grant posts who everybody is picking for the night before you could email grant with your choice(s).

        1. True – if I’m given a team the day before I can email a list of potential selections to Grant in order of preference for that team. I’d be happy to do that if that works for Grant.

        1. Yes the a.m. start would work best for me as well. Set your alarm Scooter! Make sure you have the coffee pot set :)

          Grant would it be possible for you to announce the line up the day or night before so we have some time to do our homework? And how many rounds are you planning?

            1. The first time round one took about 2.5 days but the second time you did it I think it was around the 5 hour mark, Jack or others will remember better.

    2. I’ll join the fun. 9AM works well for me, but there may be a 30 minute window mid day while I am heading to work.

  13. We currently have ten participants for Tuesday morning’s blog mock draft:

    Jack Hammer
    Brotha Tuna
    Coffee’s for closers

    1. The previous incarnations were announced and run the same day. With you setting this up more in advance I believe that it will run much faster this time. I could be well off on that 5 hour guess. You’ll also get much broader participation if you make an topic of it before hand so the casual visitor to the page will see it as well.

      1. I’ll make it a topic today. We can do two rounds if we move quickly.

        1. I hope we can pull off at least two rounds, it will allow the late first rounder to have an opportunity to trade down and still pick.

          1. Yup. Let’s shoot for two rounds and maybe we can squeeze in three.

  14. I saw a piece, espn I think, that looked at the ’79 draft where SF got Montana. They talked about how SF was paying off the OJ trade. That reminded me of both those awful
    trades; Plunk & OJ. Now I respect Jim Plunkett and he acquitted himself quite well with the RayDuhs, but SF gave up waayyy too much for him, and way too much for OJ. As we see talk of going up in the draft for someone I can’t help but remember that the quick fix doesn’t always work but the bill still comes due. TB seems fairly conservative overall, so it will be interesting to see what he considers to be a ‘splash’.

Comments are closed.