Not long after Omar Kelly of the South Florida Sun Sentinel reported that the Dolphins would exercise their fifth-year option on Mike Pouncey, the team has made it official, announcing the move today (via Twitter). The option pickup ensures that Pouncey will remain under contract through the 2015 season.
Since taking over as the Dolphins’ full-time starting center in his rookie season, Pouncey has developed into one of the more reliable options in the NFL, ranking eighth among centers in 2012 and 13th in 2013, according to Pro Football Focus’ advanced metrics (subscription required). Miami’s offensive line has undergone a significant overhaul this offseason, including the addition of tackle Branden Albert, who received $20MM in guaranteed money — Pouncey represents one of the few holdovers, a core piece in the middle of the line.
There were some questions raised about Pouncey’s long-term future in Miami after he was identified in the Ted Wells report as one of the players involved in the bullying of Jonathan Martin. However, Richie Incognito was considered the main instigator in that situation, and both Incognito and John Jerry – who was also named in the report – departed in free agency. Martin is also no longer on the roster, having been sent to San Francisco. Presumably, with those players out of the picture, the Dolphins feel Pouncey’s role in the scandal was minimal enough that the club is comfortable with keeping him on the roster moving forward.
Pouncey, 2011’s 15th overall pick, will be in line for a salary of $7.438MM in 2015, the fifth-year option amount for any offensive lineman picked between 11th and 32nd. You can keep tabs on all of this year’s option decisions leading up to the May 3 deadline with our tracker.