Niners had until midnight on Friday to make decision on Smith’s future.
The San Francisco 49ers have exercised the 2015 option on troubled pass rusher Aldon Smith’s contract which is worth $9.75m.
General manager Trent Baalke insisted last week that the franchise wouldn’t “toss out” the 24-year-old, and he has seemingly backed up his talk by exercising the option.
Until next March, the option is only guaranteed if Smith suffers a major injury in 2014 that would affect the 2015 season, and the 49ers could also pull the option before the end of next season or could trade Smith.
However, had they not exercised the option, Smith would have been set to become a free agent after the upcoming campaign and if they had been forced into a situation in placing the franchise tag on him next year then his 2015 salary would have increased to the $12-13m range.
As a result, their move has been praised as the most sensible one to make given the circumstances, and despite his off-field incidents, it appears as though San Francisco still have faith that he can put his troubles behind him and focus on his career.
Smith was arrested at Los Angeles International Airport last month for a false bomb report, while he also faces charges of gun possession and drunk driving for which he is due in court on May 12.
The 49ers star may still face an NFL suspension based on the outcome of his legal cases, but he will be buoyed by the fact that the organisation that he represents has shown faith in him and it is hoped that it will be an indication for him to repay that faith.