Golden Nuggets: 49ers pick up Aldon Smith option, Colin Kaepernick speaks publicly on Miami incident

Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Saturday, May 3rd, 2014 edition of the Golden Nuggets, a daily compilation of 49ers links from around the web.

Good morning everyone, there were two pieces of news worth talking about yesterday. First, the 49ers picked up Aldon Smith's 5th year 2015 option yesterday, making sure he will be on the team for at least two more seasons. The option gives him a base salary of 9.75MM and is guaranteed only if he suffers a major injury in 2014. That means the 49ers are protected if Aldon continues to be Aldon, that is to say a knucklehead with a severe lack of self awareness. I'm glad they did pick up the option and am actually surprised that they didn't pick it up sooner. I don't buy for a second that there was any serious thought of not picking up the option. If anything, it was probably a PR ploy to make it seem to the public like they were in a moral dilemma. Just from a pure talent perspective - and we can debate this all day - Aldon is in my opinion, the most talented player on the roster. Assuming he can stay on the field and isn't in rehab, the hospital, or prison, Aldon should be a HOF player by the time he hangs up his cleats. I just can't imagine any team letting a player like that walk for nothing, off-field issues or no.

The second piece of news was one that I had been looking forward to for a while. Colin Kaepernick spoke publicly for the first time since the Miami incident yesterday. He said that the incident "made him look at things differently" and admitted that the situation wasn't the best. The entire story has turned into vindication of sorts for all of those opposed to media hounds like TMZ who put a juicy story before the facts. The story went from "Kaepernick investigated for sexual assault" to "Players called police on woman" to "Kaepernick not even in apartment." It's a joke and completely unfortunate for Colin that the subsequent headlines are being reported nowhere near the extent that the initial one was. Anyways, I hope we can officially put this behind us soon, but in the meantime, lets get to those links.

49ers Exercise Aldon Smith's Option

49ers exercise fifth-year option on Aldon Smith, because winning is the best PR (BASG)

Report: 49ers exercise fifth-year option on Aldon Smith (Gin)

49ers pick up fifth-year option on Aldon Smith’s contract (Branch)

49ers Prove Willingness to Work with Aldon Smith (49ers)

Picking up Smith option wise football move (ESPN)

(Video) Willie McGinest: San Francisco is a 'safe haven' for linebacker Aldon Smith (NFL)

Kaepernick Speaks Publicly

Kaepernick speaks for first time about Miami incident, how it’s ‘changed my whole way of thinking’ (Inman)

NFL Draft

49ers 2014 Draft Forecast: Offensive Line (Gin)

49ers draft outlook: Tight ends (Maiocco)

Ranking draft needs (ESPN)

Draft-savvy? 49ers stand out in league-wide analysis (Barrows)

Miscellaneous

Dr. Alex Smith goes deep with introspection on his 49ers career at Utah commencement address (Inman)

Bowman, Smith illustrate difficulty of answering character question (Branch)

What Experts Said after 49ers Drafted Eric Reid (49ers)

What Experts Said after 49ers Drafted Kaepernick (49ers)

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