In a mild surprise, the 49ers on Monday exercised the fifth-year option on the contract of defensive lineman Arik Armstead, the 17th overall pick in 2015 who has yet to realize his draft-day potential, Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle reports.
Armstead, 24, has just six career sacks and has missed 18 of 32 games the past two seasons with injuries. However, he could earn $9 million in 2019 if he puts together a breakout season.
The fifth-year option is guaranteed only for injury. It will become fully guaranteed if he is on the roster on Day 1 of the 2019 league year. It’s a relatively low-risk move for the 49ers, who could release him without financial penalty after this season, assuming he doesn’t get a severe injury.