49ers

49ers pick up Ward's fifth-year option

49ers pick up Ward's fifth-year option

The 49ers officially picked up the fifth-year option on defensive back Jimmie Ward for the 2018 season, the team announced on Monday.

General manager John Lynch said Saturday the team would pick up the option. Just days earlier Lynch was non-committal when asked about the 49ers' plan with Ward. The first-year general manager admitted he did not answer the question directly because he was not fully aware of the rule.

“Yeah, it’s looking like that," Lynch answered when asked if the 49ers would pick up Ward's fifth-year option. "(I) had no clue when you guys asked me that the other day. I had no idea. I had been focused on the draft. But, (the question) made me go check.”

The league-wide deadline for picking up the option is Wednesday. After the 49ers did not draft a free safety, it became apparent Ward fits into the team’s plan for at least the next two seasons. The 49ers selected Miami defensive back Adrian Colbert in the seventh round, but the 49ers first want to try him at cornerback.

Coach Kyle Shanahan said he was excited after watching Ward during the team's minicamp this week.

The fifth-year option, a product of the 2011 collective bargaining agreement, enables teams to control the rights of first-round draft picks for one season beyond the mandatory four-year contract.

The fifth-year contract is based on where a player lined up during his third year in the league. Because the 49ers played Ward at safety last season, his 2018 contract is $8.526 million -- the number at that position. The salary for safeties, where Ward is scheduled to play this season, is $5.957 million.

The salary is guaranteed for injury only. The team can void the deal until the first day of the 2018 league year.

Ward, whom the 49ers selected with the 30th overall pick of the 2014 draft, was the team’s top nickel back in his first two seasons, appearing in 24 games. Last year, Ward moved to cornerback, where he started 11 games before landing on injured reserve with a shoulder injury.

With the 49ers’ conversion to a defense based on the Seattle Seahawks’ scheme, Ward is being moved to free safety. He is expected to fill a role based on what Earl Thomas plays with the Seahawks.

Here are the 49ers’ decisions since the inception of the fifth-year option rule:

--The 49ers picked up the fifth-year option on Aldon Smith before restructuring the contract. The 49ers eventually released Smith before the start of his fifth season due to multiple off-field incidents.

--Wide receiver A.J. Jenkins was traded to the Kansas City Chiefs before his second NFL season.

--The 49ers picked up the fifth-year option on safety Eric Reid for this season. He is scheduled to earn $5.676 this season.

2019 NFL Draft order: Full list of Round 1 picks, No. 1 through No. 32

2019 NFL Draft order: Full list of Round 1 picks, No. 1 through No. 32

Teams will make their first-round picks at the 2019 NFL Draft in Nashville, Tenn., and it's likely the order entering Thursday night's proceedings isn't how it will end up.

Trades always shake up the draft order, and a few teams are primed to make deals this year. The Raiders, for instance, own three first-round picks, and if they decided to package the Nos. 24 and 27 selections -- acquired in the Khalil Mack and Amari Cooper trades, respectively -- they could move up in the order.

There also has been rumblings that the No. 1 pick, owned by the Arizona Cardinals, is up for sale. If the Cardinals decide to deal, that could change the face of this draft, beginning with the 49ers' pick at No. 2.

Until then, we only can go off how the order is now, and you can see which teams own Nos. 1 through 32 in the list below.

2019 NFL DRAFT ORDER
1. Arizona Cardinals
2. San Francisco 49ers
3. New York Jets
4. Oakland Raiders
5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
6. New York Giants
7. Jacksonville Jaguars
8. Detroit Lions
9. Buffalo Bills
10. Denver Broncos
11. Cincinnati Bengals
12. Green Bay Packers
13. Miami Dolphins
14. Atlanta Falcons
15. Washington Redskins
16. Carolina Panthers
17. New York Giants (from Cleveland Browns in Odell Beckham Jr. trade)
18. Minnesota Vikings
19. Tennessee Titans
20. Pittsburgh Steelers
21. Seattle Seahawks
22. Baltimore Ravens
23. Houston Texans
24. Oakland Raiders (from Chicago Bears in Khalil Mack trade)
25. Philadelphia Eagles
26. Indianapolis Colts
27. Oakland Raiders (from Dallas Cowboys in Amari Cooper trade)
28. Los Angeles Chargers
29. Seattle Seahawks (from Kansas City Chiefs in Frank Clark trade)
30. Green Bay Packers (from New Orleans Saints in 2018 draft-day trade)
31. Los Angeles Rams
32. New England Patriots

NFL draft tracker 2019: First-round pick, trade updates as they happen

NFL draft tracker 2019: First-round pick, trade updates as they happen

The 2019 NFL Draft starts Thursday night in Nashville, Tenn., and the Bay Area's two teams should be in the center of the action.

The 49ers own the No. 2 overall pick, and the Raiders have three selections -- Nos. 4, 24 and 27 -- meaning they have many options that could decide where the top prospects fall.

The 49ers seem set on Ohio State's Nick Bosa with their selection, but should the Arizona Cardinals, who own the No. 1 pick, surprisingly trade down or pick an edge rusher instead of Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray, their focus could change. One option: Alabama defensive tackle Quinnen Williams, whom many have ranked No. 1 on their draft boards.

Williams also could fit the Raiders with the No. 4 pick, but there have been whispers about a trade up to No. 1 for Murray. That might require the Raiders to give up two first-round picks, and should a deal happen, it would completely alter the league's landscape.

It promises to be an interesting slate of 32 picks made in Music City, and you can follow live as each selection is made in the 2019 NFL Draft tracker below:

1. Arizona Cardinals
2. San Francisco 49ers
3. New York Jets
4. Oakland Raiders
5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
6. New York Giants
7. Jacksonville Jaguars
8. Detroit Lions
9. Buffalo Bills
10. Denver Broncos
11. Cincinnati Bengals
12. Green Bay Packers
13. Miami Dolphins
14. Atlanta Falcons
15. Washington Redskins
16. Carolina Panthers
17. New York Giants (from Cleveland Browns in Odell Beckham Jr. trade)
18. Minnesota Vikings
19. Tennessee Titans
20. Pittsburgh Steelers
21. Seattle Seahawks
22. Baltimore Ravens
23. Houston Texans
24. Oakland Raiders (from Chicago Bears in Khalil Mack trade)
25. Philadelphia Eagles
26. Indianapolis Colts
27. Oakland Raiders (from Dallas Cowboys in Amari Cooper trade)
28. Los Angeles Chargers
29. Seattle Seahawks (from Kansas City Chiefs in Frank Clark trade)
30. Green Bay Packers (from New Orleans Saints in 2018 draft-day trade)
31. Los Angeles Rams
32. New England Patriots