Minkah Fitzpatrick

2022 NFL Fifth-Year Option Tracker

NFL teams have until May 3 to officially pick up their options on 2018 first-rounders who are entering the final year of their rookie deals. In a change from years past, fifth-year option seasons are fully guaranteed, rather than guaranteed for injury only. Meanwhile, salaries are now determined by a blend of the player’s position, initial draft placement, and specific performance metrics:

  • 2-time Pro Bowlers (excluding alternate Pro Bowlers) will earn the same as their position’s franchise tag.
  • 1-time Pro Bowlers will earn the equivalent of the transition tag.
  • Players who achieve any of the following will get the average of the 3rd-20th highest salaries at their position:
    • 75%+ snaps in two of their first three seasons
    • 75%+ average across all three seasons
    • 50%+ in each of first three seasons
  • Players who do not hit any of those benchmarks will get the average of the 3rd-25th top salaries at their position.

With the deadline looming, we’ll use the space below to track all the option decisions from around the league:

Updated 4-30-21, 4:24pm CT

  1. QB Baker Mayfield, Browns: Exercised ($18.858MM)
  2. RB Saquon Barkley, Giants: Exercised ($7.217MM)
  3. QB Sam Darnold, Panthers (via Jets): Pending ($18.858MM)
  4. CB Denzel Ward, Browns — Exercised ($13.294MM)
  5. LB Bradley Chubb, Broncos — Pending ($12.716MM)
  6. G Quenton Nelson, Colts — Pending ($13.754MM)
  7. QB Josh Allen, Bills: Pending ($23.106MM)
  8. LB Roquan Smith, Bears: Exercised ($9.735MM)
  9. OT Mike McGlinchey, 49ers: Exercised ($10.88MM)
  10. QB Josh Rosen, Cardinals: N/A
  11. S Minkah Fitzpatrick, Steelers (via Dolphins): Exercised ($10.612MM)
  12. DT Vita Vea, Buccaneers: Exercised ($7.638MM)
  13. DT Daron Payne, Washington — Exercised ($8.529MM)
  14. DE Marcus Davenport, Saints: Exercised ($9.553MM)
  15. OT Kolton Miller, Raiders — N/A (extension)
  16. LB Tremaine Edmunds, Bills: Pending ($12.716MM)
  17. S Derwin James, Chargers: Exercised ($9.052MM)
  18. CB Jaire Alexander, Packers: Exercised ($13.294MM)
  19. LB Leighton Vander Esch, Cowboys: Pending ($9.145MM)
  20. C Frank Ragnow, Lions: Exercised ($12.657MM)
  21. C Billy Price, Bengals: Declined ($10.413MM)
  22. LB Rashaan Evans, Titans: Pending ($9.735MM)
  23. OT Isaiah Wynn, Patriots: Pending ($10.413 MM)
  24. WR D.J. Moore, Panthers: Exercised ($11.116MM)
  25. TE Hayden Hurst, Falcons (via Ravens): Pending ($5.428MM)
  26. WR Calvin Ridley, Falcons: Pending ($11.116MM)
  27. RB Rashaad Penny, Seahawks: Pending ($4.523MM)
  28. S Terrell Edmunds, Steelers: Pending ($6.753MM)
  29. DT Taven Bryan, Jaguars: Pending ($7.638MM)
  30. CB Mike Hughes, Vikings: Pending ($12.643MM)
  31. RB Sony Michel, Patriots: Pending ($4.523MM)
  32. QB Lamar Jackson, Ravens: Exercised ($23.106MM)

Steelers Pick Up Minkah Fitzpatrick’s Option

The Steelers will exercise Minkah Fitzpatrick‘s fifth-year option (Twitter link via NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport). The safety is now set to earn $10.612MM in 2022.

[RELATED: 2022 NFL Fifth-Year Option Tracker]

In 2019, the Steelers shipped first-, fifth-, and sixth-round picks to the Dolphins for Fitzpatrick and a pair of Day 3 picks. It’s no surprise to see that the Steelers have extended the arrangement, especially after Fitzpatrick earned his second straight All-Pro nod. In 16 games (all starts), Fitzpatrick tallied four interceptions, 79 total stops, and eleven passes defensed. He also took one of those interceptions back for a pick six, giving him four career defensive TDs.

Per the new rules for the fifth-year option, Fitzpatrick’s 2022 salary is fully guaranteed, rather than guaranteed for injury only.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFL’s Fifth-Year Option Salaries For 2021

The NFL’s 2021 salary cap has been set at $182.5MM, marking the league’s first reduction in a decade. With that, the league has also ironed out the value of this year’s fifth-round option for 2018 first-round picks.

Here’s the full rundown, via NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero (on Twitter):

1. Baker Mayfield, Browns, QB — $18.858MM (playing time)

2. Saquon Barkley, Giants, RB — $7.217MM (1x Pro Bowl)

3. Sam Darnold, Jets, QB — $18.858MM (playing time)

4. Denzel Ward, Browns, CB — $13.294MM (1x Pro Bowl)

5. Bradley Chubb, Broncos, LB — $12.716MM (1x Pro Bowl)

6. Quenton Nelson, Colts, G — $13.754MM (2x Pro Bowl)

7. Josh Allen, Bills, QB — $23.106MM (1x Pro Bowl)

8. Roquan Smith, Bears, LB — $9.735MM (playing time)

9. Mike McGlinchey, 49ers, OT — $10.88MM (playing time)

10. Josh Rosen, Cardinals, QB*

11. Minkah Fitzpatrick, Steelers, S (drafted by Dolphins) — $10.612MM (2x Pro Bowl)

12. Vita Vea, Buccaneers, DT — $7.638MM

13. Daron Payne, Washington, DT — $8.529MM (playing time)

14. Marcus Davenport, Saints, DE — $9.553MM

15. Kolton Miller, Raiders, OT — $10.88MM (playing time)

16. Tremaine Edmunds, Bills, LB — $12.716MM (1x Pro Bowl)

17. Derwin James, Chargers, S — $9.052MM (1x Pro Bowl)

18. Jaire Alexander, Packers, CB — $13.294MM (1x Pro Bowl)

19. Leighton Vander Esch, Cowboys, LB — $9.145MM

20. Frank Ragnow, Lions, C — $12.657MM (1x Pro Bowl)

21. Billy Price, Bengals, C — $10.413MM

22. Rashaan Evans, Titans, LB — $9.735MM (playing time)

23. Isaiah Wynn, Patriots, OT — $10.413MM

24. D.J. Moore, Panthers, WR — $11.116MM (playing time)

25. Hayden Hurst, Falcons, TE (Drafted by Ravens) — $5.428MM

26. Calvin Ridley, Falcons, WR — $11.116MM (playing time)

27. Rashaad Penny, Seahawks, RB — $4.523MM

28., Steelers, S Terrell Edmunds — $6.753MM (playing time)

29. Taven Bryan, Jaguars, DT — $7.638MM

30. Mike Hughes, Vikings, CB — $12.643MM

31. Sony Michel, Patriots, RB — $4.523MM

32. Lamar Jackson, Ravens, QB — $23.106MM (1x Pro Bowl)

* Rosen was released from his original contract and, therefore, is not option-eligible 

As a refresher, the fifth-year option year is now fully guaranteed. In the past, it was guaranteed for injury only. The values are also dependent on certain performance metrics:

  • Two-time Pro Bowlers (excluding alternate Pro Bowlers) will earn the same as their position’s franchise tag.
  • One-time Pro Bowlers will earn the equivalent of the transition tag.
  • Players who achieve any of the following will get the average of the 3rd-20th highest salaries at their position:
    • 75%+ snaps in two of their first three seasons
    • 75%+ average across all three seasons
    • 50%+ in each of first three seasons
  • Players who do not hit any of those benchmarks will get the average of the 3rd-25th top salaries at their position.

AFC East Notes: Dolphins, Newton, Bills

With the Dolphins for just 18 games, Minkah Fitzpatrick elaborated on the difference of opinion he had with his second NFL head coach. Brian Flores, per Fitzpatrick, preferred he play a hybrid strong safety/linebacker role and only tried him as a deep safety in one practice last summer. This only came after Fitzpatrick asked Flores to see more time in coverage, Tyler Dunne of Bleacher Report notes. After the Dolphins’ Week 1 blowout loss to the Ravens, in which Fitzpatrick was used more in coverage — albeit after limited practice time as a deep safety in Flores’ scheme — the 2018 first-round pick asked for a trade. Flores, Dunne adds, attempted to convince Fitzpatrick he was a key part of Miami’s future. That did not end up working. The Dolphins traded Fitzpatrick to the Steelers, with whom he became an All-Pro, for a first-round pick that turned into tackle Austin Jackson.

We had a difference of opinion in my skill set and what he thought I could do and what I thought I could do,” Fitzpatrick said, via Dunne. “It was going to get tough for me to show something to somebody they were choosing not to see. They didn’t give me the opportunity to show it, even though I had film that showed it. The losing and all that stuff? If I was put in the right position and we’re losing — because of decisions people made upstairs — it is what it is. I can only control how I play. That didn’t affect me at all. It was just a fact that I was being used the wrong way.”

Here is the latest from the AFC East:

  • Shoulder and foot injuries helped lead Cam Newton out of Charlotte after nine seasons. But the former MVP quarterback said he is “full go” as he begins practices with the Patriots, Phil Perry of NBC Sports Boston notes. Newton, 31, sounded more cautiously optimistic about staying fully healthy, Perry writes, after being injured for much of the past three seasons. But going into the padded portion of New England’s training camp, Tom Brady‘s likely successor said he feels “amazing.”
  • Since Dolphins players reported to camp, Xavien Howard has landed on both the active/PUP list and the reserve/COVID-19 list. Howard underwent knee surgery in December. While Howard was running at the team’s facility this summer, per ESPN.com’s Cameron Wolfe, he does not figure to see much practice time before Week 1. This makes the standout corner’s availability for the Dolphins’ opener against the Patriots uncertain.
  • Another Dolphin uncertain for Week 1: Preston Williams. The Dolphins are easing their UDFA success story back into action after his ACL tear, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald notes, adding that Williams’ Week 1 status is in doubt. Williams went down in Week 8 last season, ending a strong start to his career. He caught 32 passes for 428 yards. With Albert Wilson and Allen Hurns opting out, Williams will be critical to Miami’s passing attack.
  • Formerly a key Bills wide receiver, Robert Foster now appears on the verge of being cut or traded. The third-year Bills wideout will need a strong camp to make the team, Joe Buscaglia of The Athletic writes (subscription required). Buffalo drafted Gabriel Davis in Round 4, and the rookie will join the recently re-signed Isaiah McKenzie as a backup to the team’s Stefon DiggsJohn BrownCole Beasley starter trio. After Foster averaged 20 yards per catch as a rookie — in a 27-reception, 541-yard, three-TD season — he caught just three passes in 13 games last season.

Dolphins Offered Reshad Jones To Steelers Before Minkah Fitzpatrick Trade

The Dolphins were shopping veteran safety Reshad Jones this summer, and the Steelers, who had made it clear to rival teams that they were in the market for secondary help, were an obvious match. As Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports writes, Miami did indeed attempt to deal Jones to Pittsburgh at the start of the season.

However, the Steelers said they preferred Minkah Fitzpatrick, though the Dolphins initially suggested Fitzpatrick was not going to be moved. Of course, Miami quickly changed its stance in that regard and said it would deal Fitzpatrick if a first-rounder was included in the trade.

La Canfora says several teams were willing to meet the Dolphins’ asking price, but Miami chose Pittsburgh’s offer because it believed the Steelers’ 2020 first-rounder would be higher than those of the other suitors. Of course, that may not turn out to be the case, as Fitzpatrick has provided a jolt to the Steelers’ defense and has helped Pittsburgh (4-4) climb back into the AFC playoff picture.

Fitzpatrick was publicly unhappy with the way he was being deployed in Miami, but he and Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin established from the beginning that the Alabama product would be used in a centerfielder role that would highlight his playmaking abilities. And Fitzpatrick has certainly made plays, recording four interceptions in his six games in the Steel City, including a critical pick-six in Pittsburgh’s win over the Colts last week.

Jones, meanwhile, is under contract with the Dolphins through 2022, and while he indicated he is open to staying with Miami through its rebuild, the Fins may choose to cut bait this offseason to save about $5.5MM against the cap, even though they would incur a big dead money charge by doing so.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Latest On Dolphins’ Trades, Strategy

In addition to moving on from numerous veterans this offseason, the Dolphins have now traded two players who were seemingly building blocks in Laremy Tunsil and Minkah Fitzpatrick. These moves appear to have tripped the NFL’s alarm.

The Tunsil trade involved numerous Texans offers, with Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald reporting the steps the AFC teams took to finalizing the trade that sent the left tackle to Houston. The Texans’ offers went from Jadeveon Clowney-for-Tunsil, straight up, to Clowney and a first-rounder for Tunsil to first- and second-rounders for Tunsil. The Dolphins managed to drive the price to two first-rounders and a second-round selection and requested tackle Julie’n Davenport in return, Salguero notes.

Upon seeing the Texans’ deal-closing offer on a board in Chris Grier‘s office, Tunsil told the Dolphins GM, “I would trade me for that too,” Adam Beasley of the Miami Herald adds (via Twitter).

In reshuffling their power structure after last season, the Dolphins were not planning to jettison Tunsil, Fitzpatrick, Kiko Alonso or T.J. McDonald. (The Dolphins dealt Alonso to the Saints and released McDonald.) Brian Flores‘ coaching staff clashed with Alonso, Salguero adds, and asked him to play multiple roles — including edge defender. The Dolphins demoted the highly paid linebacker before trading him.

Fitzpatrick is a Steeler, being dealt after a trade request. The second-year defensive back was not on board with the versatile role the Dolphins asked him to play, and Salguero adds the team never found a sufficient comfort level that would allow Fitzpatrick to settle in at one spot. Both Grier and owner Stephen Ross attempted to help Fitzpatrick and Miami’s coaching staff find common ground.

Myself, Brian, and Steve (Ross) — we had multiple conversations with him, saying we wanted him here and viewed him as a core piece and wanted him here,” Grier said. “The kid just felt it was time for him to move, and we told him what the value was. We told teams we had multiple offers, and we felt that the Pittsburgh one was the one best for the organization.”

Fitzpatrick’s rookie deal was worth $16.447MM over four years. Similar to the deal in which the Dolphins acquired Josh Rosen, the Steelers are only on the hook for Fitzpatrick’s base salaries. Pittsburgh has the 2018 No. 11 overall pick under contract through 2021 for $5.48MM, Field Yates of ESPN.com notes (on Twitter).
The Dolphins now hold three 2020 first-round picks. A building suspicion in NFL circles centers on the prospect this Dolphins rebuild may be a stealth effort for Trevor Lawrence in 2021, per Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk. But Salguero adds one of Miami’s three 2020 first-rounders will be used to draft a quarterback — regardless of how Rosen performs in what now may be an extended audition. The Cardinals in 2018-19 and Baltimore Colts in 1982-83 were the most recent franchises to draft first-round passers in consecutive years, so as of now it looks like this oft-labeled tanking strategy is built around Justin Herbert or Tua Tagovailoa (should he enter the 2020 draft).

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Dolphins Trade CB Minkah Fitzpatrick To Steelers

The Minkah Fitzpatrick saga has come to an end. ESPN’s Adam Schefter tweets that the Dolphins have traded the cornerback to the Steelers. Miami will receive a 2020 first-rounder in return. ESPN’s Cameron Wolfe adds (via Twitter) that the teams will also be swapping late-round picks.

Here’s the full breakdown of the trade: The Dolphins will receive a 2020 first-round pick, a 2020 fifth-round pick, and a 2021 sixth-round pick. The Steelers, meanwhile, get Fitzpatrick, a 2020 fourth-round choice, and a 2021 sixth-round selection.

We learned yesterday that league-wide interest in the 2018 first-rounder was “real and serious,” with roughly 20 teams reaching out to Miami. Earlier tonight, Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports reported (via Twitter) that a trade was imminent, and he listed the Steelers (along with the Redskins, Cowboys, Chiefs, Eagles, and Seahawks) as potential suitors. While the Dolphins weren’t necessarily shopping the cornerback, they were receptive to offers and asking for a first-rounder “and something else.”

Fitzpatrick is an undeniably gifted defensive back who has been less than thrilled with the multiple roles he has been asked to fill in Miami’s defense to date. His ability to play as both a slot corner and a roaming safety made him a desirable asset. Through two games this season, the 22-year-old has compiled 12 tackles and one forced fumble.

The Dolphins offseason (and preseason, and regular season…) teardown is essentially complete. As ESPN’s Field Yates tweets, Miami has three first-rounders (their own, Steelers, Texans) and two second-rounders (their own, Saints) in the 2020 draft, and they also have the Texans 2021 first- and second-round picks (as well as their own).

While yesterday’s report indicated that a Fitzpatrick trade would ultimately represent the end of the team’s teardown and draft-pick accumulation, it sounds like the Dolphins aren’t necessarily eyeing a return to relevance in 2020. Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.com wrote earlier today that there’s “growing suspicion” that the Dolphins may be eyeing a two-year rebuild. The team may even pass on a quarterback during the 2020 draft with the hope that they’ll for Clemson signal-caller Trevor Lawrence in 2021.

While the Steelers were in the market for a cornerback, the trade is a considerable risk for a team that just lost Ben Roethlisberger for an entire season. Considering the draft capital they gave up to acquire Fitzpatrick, Pittsburgh’s front office has made it clear that they’re not giving up on the 2019 campaign. On the flip side, since the front-office is apparently high on the former 11th-overall pick, giving up a potential top-1o selection may still be a net positive, regardless of the Steelers’ 2019 record.

Minkah Fitzpatrick Getting Serious Trade Interest

Earlier this week, the Dolphins gave second-year DB Minkah Fitzpatrick permission to seek a trade, and Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports says that roughly 20 teams have reached out to Miami brass and/or Fitzpatrick’s agent, Joel Segal, to inquire. Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network (video link) confirms that league-wide interest in the 2018 first-rounder is “real and serious,” and both reporters hear that a deal could be completed prior to Week 3.

Adam Schefter of ESPN.com writes that the Dolphins are said to be seeking a first-round pick “and something else” in return for Fitzpatrick, and given the number of inquiries they’re getting, that may not be as high of an ask as was originally thought. Miami is still not actively shopping the Alabama product, but the Fins seem to be doing just fine in getting potential suitors to come to them. However, Schefter’s sources suggest that Miami will have to lower its asking price to consummate a trade.

Fitzpatrick is an undeniably gifted defensive back who has been less than thrilled with the multiple roles he has been asked to fill in Miami’s defense to date, though his versatility is one of his best assets. Other than the Cowboys, it’s unclear what teams have talked to the Dolphins about a trade, but presumably teams with needs at safety and cornerback have made inquiries.

If the Dolphins do trade Fitzpatrick, La Canfora says it would represent the end of the team’s teardown and draft-pick accumulation. Miami would be armed with even more draft capital to start its rebuild, though after trading Laremy Tunsil and (perhaps) Fitzpatrick, the Dolphins will need to use some of that capital to reload at LT and in the defensive backfield.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

AFC East Notes: AB, Fitzpatrick, Siemian

It sounds like Antonio Brown will indeed be playing for the Patriots tomorrow. Michael Giardi of the NFL Network tweets that the star wide receiver is making the trip to Miami.

Michael Lombardi of The Athletic adds (via Twitter) that the organization doesn’t “bring players as a guest,” an indication that Brown will be active. Meanwhile, Jeff Howe of the Athletic notes (on Twitter) that AB had a “strong” first week of practice with the team, and it’d be surprising if he didn’t suit up for tomorrow’s contest against the Dolphins.

Considering AB’s lack of practice time and the fallout from his civil lawsuit, there were question marks if the receiver would actually take the field. Now, it sounds like he’ll be joining a talented receiver corps that already includes Julian Edelman, Josh Gordon, and Phillip Dorsett.

Here are some more notes from around the AFC East:

  • Following the rape and sexual assault allegations, helmet manufacturer Xenith announced that they’ve ended their relationship with Brown. “We look forward to seeing the Xenith Shadow worn by football athletes at all levels of play this fall,” the brand said (via ESPN’s Adam Schefter on Twitter). Following Brown’s public feud with the NFL over his use of an ineligible helmet, it was notable when the receiver landed on an alternative option. Charean Williams of ProFootballTalk.com writes that it’s uncertain whether Xenith ended the relationship due to the allegations or Brown’s decision to use a different helmet.
  • Following the trade request from Dolphins cornerback Minkah Fitzpatrick, Phil Perry of NBC Sports Boston writes that the Patriots should go after the former first-rounder. Perry notes that Fitzpatrick offers many of the skills that the Patriots seek from defensive backs, and he points to recent trades with the Jets and Bills as reasons why New England wouldn’t be afraid of trading within the division.
  • Speaking of trade requests, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald tweets that the Dolphins are aware of “another specific veteran player’s unhappiness and his preference to go elsewhere.” However, that veteran player has been “disinclined to discuss this publicly.” Head coach Brian Flores said he wasn’t aware of any trade requests besides Fitzpatrick’s.
  • With Trevor Siemian thrust into the Jets‘ starting quarterback role, ESPN’s Dan Graziano tweets an interesting detail on the veteran’s contract. If Siemian plays at least 50-percent of the Jets’ offensive snaps in a win, he’ll earn more than $31K. However, if he plays more than 50-percent of the snaps and the Jets lose, he doesn’t receive the incentive bonus.

Cowboys Interested In Minkah Fitzpatrick?

The Cowboys may be exploring high-profile defensive back additions again. With the Dolphins giving Minkah Fitzpatrick permission to seek a trade, the Cowboys have engaged in discussions, Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald notes.

Other suitors loom, with Salguero adding the Dolphins have talked to “several” teams. But the Cowboys are the first to be connected to the second-year defensive back. Stephen Jones confirmed during a 105.3 The Fan interview the Cowboys have engaged in talks with the Dolphins in the past 24 hours but declined to specify the nature of those discussions, per The Athletic’s Jon Machota (on Twitter). Throwing a bit of cold water on the prospect of Fitzpatrick in Dallas, David Moore of the Dallas Morning News notes (via Twitter) the Cowboys have merely kicked the tires here.

After being connected to Earl Thomas for most of 2018, the Cowboys offered a second-round pick. That did not satisfy the Seahawks, and the sides moved on. Dallas retained its starting combination of Xavier Woods and Jeff Heath for this season. The Dolphins are said to want a first-round pick for Fitzpatrick, the 2018 No. 11 overall selection.

It’s also unclear at what position the Cowboys or another team would prefer Fitzpatrick play. The Alabama product has played both cornerback and safety, with the Dolphins also having him work in the slot and at linebacker this season. The endless roving has frustrated Fitzpatrick, who represents one of the Dolphins’ few remaining assets that would fetch a high price in a trade. Miami has already unloaded Laremy Tunsil, Kenny Stills, Robert Quinn and Ryan Tannehill in 2019 deals. GMs have been contacting Chris Grier about Dolphin assets since the Tunsil trade.

Fitzpatrick could be under a new team’s control through the 2022 season. A fifth-year option decision will not be due until May 2021. None of his base salaries exceed $2.5MM on his rookie deal.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.