Fifth-Year Option Decisions For 2017

The deadline for teams to pick up the fifth-year options for players selected in the first round of the 2013 draft has come and gone, with only 17 of 32 players having their options exercised. An 18th player, Lane Johnson of the Eagles, has already signed a long-term extension, so he shouldn’t be grouped with the 2013 draftees whose options were declined or were not applicable for other reasons, but overall, this year’s option decisions reflect how unspectacular 2013’s first round was, particularly at the top.

The 2012 draft was also considered to be bust-heavy in the top 10, but a year ago, six of those 10 players had their fifth-year options exercised for 2016. This time around, only three top-10 picks had their options picked up (plus Johnson’s extension), and Eric Fisher and Tavon Austin certainly weren’t no-brainer decisions. Luke Joeckel, Barkevious Mingo, Jonathan Cooper, and Dee Milliner are among the underachieving top-10 picks whose options were declined by their respective teams.

Of course, just because a player has his option exercised or declined, that doesn’t necessarily dictate his future earnings. These fifth-year options are only guaranteed for injury only for now, so assuming a player stays healthy, his team could still release him by March 2017 without being on the hook for any ’17 salary, even if his option was exercised today. Conversely, a player who had his option declined could have a bounce-back year and do well on the open market next March.

Last year, Mark Barron, Bruce Irvin, and Doug Martin were among the players whose options were turned down. All three signed long-term pacts worth north of $35MM last month. On the other end of the spectrum, Robert Griffin III had his option exercised, but was cut before it became fully guaranteed, and “settled” for a $15MM contract in free agency.

As we wait to see how the latest round of option decisions looks a year from now, let’s recap the action. Here’s a full breakdown of the fifth-year option decisions for 2017:


  1. Eric Fisher, T (Chiefs), $11.902MM: Exercised
  2. Ezekiel Ansah, DE (Lions), $12.734MM: Exercised
  3. Tavon Austin, WR (Rams), $12.268MM: Exercised
  4. D.J. Fluker, G (Chargers), $8.821MM: Exercised
  5. Sheldon Richardson, DE (Jets), $8.069MM: Exercised
  6. Star Lotulelei, DT (Panthers), $6.757MM: Exercised
  7. Kenny Vaccaro, S (Saints), $5.676MM: Exercised
  8. Eric Reid, S (49ers), $5.676MM: Exercised
  9. Justin Pugh, G (Giants), $8.821MM: Exercised
  10. Kyle Long, G (Bears), $8.821MM: Exercised
  11. Tyler Eifert, TE (Bengals), $4.782MM: Exercised
  12. Desmond Trufant, CB (Falcons), $8.026MM: Exercised
  13. Sharrif Floyd, DT (Vikings), $6.757MM: Exercised
  14. Xavier Rhodes, CB (Vikings), $8.026MM: Exercised
  15. DeAndre Hopkins, WR (Texans), $7.915MM: Exercised
  16. Alec Ogletree, LB (Rams), $8.369MM: Exercised
  17. Travis Frederick, C (Cowboys), $8.821MM: Exercised

Not exercised:

  1. Luke Joeckel, T (Jaguars), $11.902MM: Declined
  2. Dion Jordan, DE (Dolphins): Not applicable this year due to suspension (contract tolled)
  3. Lane Johnson, T (Eagles): Not applicable due to long-term extension
  4. Barkevious Mingo, OLB (Browns), $11.925MM: Declined
  5. Jonathan Cooper, G (Patriots), $11.902MM: Declined
  6. Dee Milliner, CB (Jets), $11.913MM: Declined
  7. Chance Warmack, G (Titans), $11.902MM: Declined
  8. D.J. Hayden, CB (Raiders), $8.026MM: Declined
  9. EJ Manuel, QB (Bills), $11.357MM: Declined
  10. Jarvis Jones, OLB (Steelers), $8.369MM: Declined
  11. Bjoern Werner, OLB: Not applicable due to release
  12. Datone Jones, OLB (Packers), $8.369MM: Declined
  13. Sylvester Williams, DT (Broncos), $6.757MM: Declined
  14. Cordarrelle Patterson, WR (Vikings), $7.915MM: Declined
  15. Matt Elam, S (Ravens), $5.676MM: Declined
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