The Rams have exercised their 2017 options for a pair of former first-round picks, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com, who tweets that both linebacker Alec Ogletree and wide receiver Tavon Austin had their fifth-year options picked up.
[RELATED: Fifth-Year Option Decision Tracker]
There was never much doubt that the Rams would exercise their 2017 option on Ogeltree, which is worth $8.369MM. Despite the fact that ankle issues cost him most of the 2015 season, the 24-year-old remains one of the more talented players on Los Angeles’ defense, particularly among non-defensive linemen. In his last full season, Ogletree recorded 111 tackles, two interceptions, 12 passes defended, and four forced fumbles in 2014.
As for Austin, that decision wasn’t quite as simple. The 25-year-old enjoyed his best season in 2015, establishing new career-highs in receptions (52), receiving yards (473), rushing yards (434), and touchdowns (nine). However, as a top-10 pick, Austin will be owed a $12.268MM salary for 2017 now that his option has been exercised. That’s a significant price for a non-traditional wideout who had never topped 500 receiving yards.
We heard back in February that the Rams are interested in getting extensions done with both Ogletree and Austin, so it’s possible that neither player will actually play out the 2017 season on the terms of his current contract. Working out agreements that extend Ogletree’s and Austin’s stays in Los Angeles beyond 2017 could allow the Rams to reduce both players’ cap numbers for ’17.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.