Options, options, options: NFL teams have them and NFL players want them.
The fifth-year option is one of the NFL’s most underrated activities during the offseason, with the 2018 first-round picks this year looking to find themselves locked in a fifth year with their squad. origin or maybe a team to which they were traded.
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While fifth-year options are usually chosen by teams, that’s not always the case: whether it’s a struggling player, a team in crisis, or someone who has suffered. injuries, there are many reasons why a team might not keep a player on their roster for a fifth season.
In 2021, there are a number of players this year who have not had their fifth-year options for the 2022 season, with minimal surprises. For nine players (and potentially 10), free agency comes a year earlier than they might have liked, which is bittersweet.
Here are which players saw their options exercised:
NFL Fifth-Year Options Tracker
Among the first players in the 2018 NFL Draft, nine did not have their options: Josh Rosen (released), Leighton Vander Esch, Billy Price, Rashaan Evans, Hayden Hurst, Rashaad Penny, Terrell Edmunds, Sony Michel and Mike Hughes.
With the deadline for the fifth-year option set for May 3, all players but one have a definitive answer – Jags DT Taven Bryan is the only player who is wondering where he might be in the 2022 season.
(The teams in parentheses are the player’s original franchise.)
|Choose in 2018||Player||Position||Team||Exercised?||Value (millions)|
|1||Baker mayfield||QB||Brown||Yes.||$ 18,858|
|2||Saquon Barkley||RB||giants||Yes.||$ 7.217|
|3||Sam darnold||QB||Panthers (Jets)||Yes.||$ 18,858|
|4||Denzel ward||CB||Brown||Yes.||$ 13,294|
|5||Bradley Chubb||OLB||Broncos||Yes.||$ 12,716|
|6||Quenton Nelson||OG||Foals||Yes.||$ 13,754|
|7||Josh Allen||QB||Invoices||Yes.||$ 23,106|
|8||Roquan smith||KG||Bear||Yes.||$ 9,734|
|9||Mike McGlinchey||OL||49ers||Yes.||$ 10.88|
|ten||Josh Rosen||QB||49ers (cardinals)||No, released.||–|
|11||Minkah Fitzpatrick||S||Steelers (dolphins)||Yes.||$ 10,612|
|12||Vita Vea||DT||Buccaneers||Yes.||$ 7.638|
|13||Da’Ron Payne||DT||Washington||Yes.||$ 8.529|
|14||Marcus Davenport||OF||The Saints||Yes.||$ 9.533|
|15||Kolton miller||T||Raiders||No, extended.||–|
|16||Tremaine Edmunds||KG||Invoices||Yes.||$ 12,716|
|17||Derwin james||S||Chargers||Yes.||$ 9.052|
|18||Jaire alexander||CB||Packers||Yes.||$ 13,294|
|19||Leighton Vander Esch||KG||Cowboys||No.||–|
|20||Frank ragnow||VS||the Lions||Yes.||$ 12,657|
|23||Isaiah wynn||T||Patriots||Yes.||$ 10,413|
|24||Dj moore||WR||Panthers||Yes.||$ 11,116|
|25||Hayden hurst||YOU||Falcons (crows)||No.||$ 5.428|
|26||Calvin ridley||WR||Falcons||Yes.||$ 11,116|
|29||Taven bryan||DT||Jaguars||To be determined|
|32||Lamar jackson||QB||Ravens||Yes.||$ 23,106|
What is the NFL fifth year option?
Players selected in the first round of the NFL Draft sign four-year rookie contracts with a team option for a fifth year built into the pact. Teams must decide whether to choose a player’s fifth year option after the player’s third season has ended, but before May 3 of the following league year.
The option formula, which has been changed for players in the 2018 Draft Class due to the ABC changes, takes into account past performance, cap situation, Pro Bowl appearances, position salaries and the number of shots. The fifth year option is guaranteed and also guarantees the base salary of the fourth year option.
Even if a fifth-year option is not exercised, players have the option of negotiating long-term extensions with their team throughout the 2021 season before joining free agency.