2015 Fifth-Year Option Decisions

The deadline has passed for teams to officially exercise their 2015 options on players who are in the final year of their rookie contracts, so it’s time to round up the results of those decisions. These fifth-year options could only be exercised on first-round picks, and the salaries were determined by where players were drafted and what position they play.

If a player had his option exercised, his rookie contract will be extended by one year and he’ll be eligible for free agency after the 2015 season. If a player’s option was declined, he’ll be eligible for free agency after the 2014 season. We explained the intricacies of the fifth-year option in a PFR Glossary post last month, so you can read up on the specific details there.

These 2015 option salaries are guaranteed for injury only up until the first day of the 2015 league year, at which point they become fully guaranteed. As such, many teams will exercise the options for now, even if they’re not 100% sure they’ll keep the player, since there isn’t a ton of risk in picking up the option and maintaining as much roster flexibility as possible. Teams and players can also continue to negotiate long-term contracts from this point on.

In the case of some players listed below, teams didn’t officially announce their decisions, which we’ll interpret to mean the clubs didn’t exercise those options — no formal action was required if a club simply chose not to pick up the option.

Here are this season’s fifth-year option decisions:

  1. Cam Newton (QB, Panthers), $14.666MM: Exercised
  2. Von Miller (LB, Broncos), $9.754MM: Exercised
  3. Marcell Dareus (DE, Bills), $8.06MM: Exercised
  4. A.J. Green (WR, Bengals), $10.176MM: Exercised
  5. Patrick Peterson (CB, Cardinals), $10.081MM: Exercised
  6. Julio Jones (WR, Falcons), $10.176MM: Exercised
  7. Aldon Smith (LB, 49ers), $9.754MM: Exercised
  8. Jake Locker (QB, Titans), $14.666MM: Declined
  9. Tyron Smith (OL, Cowboys), $10.039MM: Exercised
  10. Blaine Gabbert (QB, 49ers), $14.666MM: Declined
  11. J.J. Watt (DE, Texans), $6.969MM: Exercised
  12. Christian Ponder (QB, Vikings), $9.686MM: Declined
  13. Nick Fairley (DT, Lions), $5.477MM: Declined
  14. Robert Quinn (DE, Rams), $6.969MM: Exercised
  15. Mike Pouncey (OL, Dolphins), $7.438MM: Exercised
  16. Ryan Kerrigan (LB, Redskins), $7.038MM: Excerised
  17. Nate Solder (OL, Patriots), $7.438MM: Exercised
  18. Corey Liuget (DE, Chargers), $6.969MM: Exercised
  19. Prince Amukamara (CB, Giants), $6.898MM: Exercised
  20. Adrian Clayborn (DE, Buccaneers), $6.969MM: Declined
  21. Phil Taylor (DT, Browns), $5.477MM: Exercised
  22. Anthony Castonzo (OL, Colts), $7.438MM: Exercised
  23. Danny Watkins (OL, FA): Not applicable due to release
  24. Cameron Jordan (DE, Saints), $6.969MM: Exercised
  25. James Carpenter (OL, Seahawks), $7.438MM: Declined
  26. Jonathan Baldwin (WR, 49ers), $6.776MM: Not applicable due to restructure
  27. Jimmy Smith (CB, Ravens), $6.898MM: Exercised
  28. Mark Ingram (RB, Saints), $5.211MM: Declined
  29. Gabe Carimi (OL, Falcons): Not applicable due to release
  30. Muhammad Wilkerson (DE, Jets), $6.969MM: Exercised
  31. Cameron Heyward (DE, Steelers), $6.969MM: Exercised
  32. Derek Sherrod (OL, Packers), $7.438MM: Declined
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