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What to make of Eric Reid's fifth year option, if contract extension is in the cards

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Eric Reid just wrapped up the third year of his rookie contract. The 49ers hold a fifth year option, which they must decide on by May 3. Will they use some of their cap space to work out an extension, or just let this thing play out into next year?

The San Francisco 49ers have a variety of roster decisions to make this offseason, and one revolves around free safety Eric Reid. Effective at the end of the 2015 season, the 49ers have until May 3, 2016 to exercise his fifth year option. Reid was a first round pick, and the current CBA provides four year contracts for all picks, plus a fifth year option for first round picks.

Reid's fifth year option salary will be settled once the new league year arrives in March. For the top ten picks of each draft, the fifth year salary is the fourth-year transition tender amount for the position at which that player played the most snaps in his third year. For picks 11-32, the salary is based on average of the 3rd through 25th highest paid salaries for players at the position at which the player played the most snaps in his third season.

Eric Reid was the 18th overall pick in 2013, so he would be part of that latter group. We'll know the dollar figure later this spring, but for comparison, in 2012, the safety dollar figure was $5,278,000. The number will likely increase this year, but that at least gives us a starting point. Reid's 2016 salary cap figure is $2,698,422, based on a base salary of $1,561,467 and prorated signing bonus of $1,136,955.

This would be an increase of a little over $2.5 million in cap figure. The 49ers have a lot of cap space this year, and it would not be surprising to see them use some of it to sign players to front-loaded extensions. The team does not have to hurry with a deal for Reid, and might be fine just letting it play out and him potentially walking. However, there is some room for negotiation if the 49ers want to get something done sooner rather than later.