The Patriots have exercised their fifth-year option on defensive end Chandler Jones, according to Will Brinson of CBSSports.com (via Twitter). Brinson adds that the team has also picked up its option on Dont’a Hightower, which was reported yesterday.
Jones, 25, missed six regular season games last season with a hip injury, but was productive as usual during his time on the field, recording 51 tackles, six sacks, and a pair of forced fumbles. In 2013, the only season in which he has played all 16 contests, Jones racked up 11.5 sacks.
As the 21st overall pick and a defensive end, Jones will be in line for a $7.799MM salary for the 2016 campaign before being eligible for unrestricted free agency in 2017. That salary doesn’t become fully guaranteed until the start of the ’16 league year, and the cap figure could always be adjusted if the Patriots work out something longer-term with Jones.
For all of this year’s fifth-year option decisions, which are due by Sunday, be sure to check out our tracker.