The San Francisco 49ers have a lot of decisions to make between now and the end of the weekend, but after the 2018 NFL Draft, they’ll have to finalize two more decisions. The team has to decide whether or not to exercise the fifth year options on the contracts of defensive lineman Arik Armstead and offensive guard Laken Tomlinson.
General manager John Lynch met with the media on Monday, and did not have a firm answer when asked about the decisions. He simply said, “We’re getting there. Those decisions have to be made here in the near future.”
The 49ers have to decide prior to Thursday, May 3rd. They only drafted Armstead in 2015, but when they acquired Tomlinson from the Detroit Lions last August, they also acquired the fifth year option on his rookie contract.
The 2011 collective bargaining agreement gave all draft picks four-year contracts, but added a fifth year team option for first round picks. The team has to decide on the option during the offseason prior to a player’s fourth year. If they exercise the option, it becomes guaranteed for injury. If the player is on the 90-man roster at the start of the following league year, the option salary becomes fully guaranteed. Fifth year option salaries are determined for top ten picks, and then for the rest of the first round. The salary for Armstead and Tomlinson’s options (both 11 through 32 picks), is equal to the transition tender for the given position using the applicable third through twenty-fifth highest salaries. The position utilized is that which the player participated in the most plays during his third league year. Tomlinson’s would be a general “offensive line” salary. Armstead’s would be either defensive tackle or defensive end, depending on which saw a higher snap count.