Every NFL draft pick gets signed to a four-year contract with his new team. Where the player is picked during the draft process determines the value of his contract. The higher he is selected, the more money he will make during his rookie deal.

There is one other significant distinction between first-round draft picks and those who are selected later. NFL teams can activate a fifth-year option for the former. Teams must decide if they want to do that before the player's fourth NFL season. That deadline this year is May 3.

San Francisco 49ers defensive end Arik Armstead is one such player. The 49ers used the No. 17 overall pick to acquire him in 2015. Unwilling to allow Armstead to become a free agent in 2019, the 49ers are picking up his fifth-year option, per Albert Breer of The MMQB. He will earn an estimated $9 million in 2019.


Another player who could have had his fifth-year option activated was guard Laken Tomlinson. While there has been no official word on what the 49ers plan to do with his contract situation, the word is the team has opted not to exercise the guard's option.

Armstead is coming off of a shortened 2017 season. He broke his hand during the first quarter of a Week 6 matchup against the Washington Redskins and was placed on injured reserve on October 17, 2017. While Armstead wanted to continue playing despite the injury, team doctors determined it wasn't an option with the type of injury he suffered.

"He really wanted to play with a cast," head coach Kyle Shanahan said on KNBR in October. "I know he's done it before in college and I was hoping he could and our doctors. The type of break he had, a cast doesn't do anything for it. I'm not exactly sure the medical terms but he broke his hand, and his knuckle went down into his hand, so it's something that a cast could not protect."

Armstead started six games last season and had 16 total tackles, 1.5 sacks, and a pass defensed. Over his three seasons with the 49ers, he registered 50 total tackles, six sacks, and a pass defensed.

Armstead's 2016 campaign also ended on injured reserve. He played in just eight games with four starts before a nagging shoulder injury and surgery finished his season.

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