SANTA CLARA -- Safety Eric Reid is in the 49ers’ plans beyond this season, general manager Trent Baalke said Wednesday.
If the 49ers are not able to sign Reid to a long-term extension, the team will likely pick up the fifth-year option before the May 2 deadline, according to Baalke.
“We’re definitely looking at both options,” Baalke said on Wednesday. “If we can get something done longer, I think we’ll look at that. We’re also looking at the fifth-year option, as well. I would expect him back (in 2017) for sure, one way of another.”
The 49ers traded up from the No. 31 overall to the No. 18 overall pick to select Reid to take over as the immediate starter. The 49ers lost Dashon Goldson in free agency more than a month before targeting Reid.
The 49ers have until May 2 to decide whether to place the fifth-year option on Reid to place him under contract for the 2017 season. Reid is currently set to enter the final year of his original four-year, $8.48 million contract.
The one-year deal for 2017 would pay Reid a salary of $5.676 million. The contract becomes fully guaranteed in March 2017, on the first day of the new league year.
Until March 2017, the contract is guaranteed for injury only. Reid could be released any time before that time if the team changes its mind and determines he is not worth the higher price tag.
Reid was added to the Pro Bowl after his rookie season as an alternate. After recording seven interceptions in his first two seasons, Reid did not have a pick last season.
The only previous time the 49ers had a fifth-year decision to make since the implementation of the option was two years ago with outside linebacker Aldon Smith.
The 49ers gave Smith the fifth-year option but later the sides agreed to a restructured contract before the $9.754 million would have become fully guaranteed. The 49ers released Smith last August before playing out that new deal after he was arrested for DUI, hit and run, and vandalism, his fifth run-in with the law since his rookie season.
Last year, the 49ers had no fifth-year option to exercise. The 49ers’ 2012 first-round draft pick, A.J. Jenkins, was traded after his rookie season.
The New Orleans Saints recently picked up the fifth-year option on safety Kenny Vaccaro, the No. 15 overall pick in the 2013 draft. The Saints had the league’s worst defense, surrendering 29.8 points a game.