One of the developments in the collective bargaining agreement between the NFL and the NFL Players Association that brought the lockout to a close in 2011 was a wage scale for incoming rookie classes.
Draft picks would be locked into four-year contracts with first round selections also having a fifth-year team option.
The deadline for teams to pick up that fifth-year option for players from the 2011 draft is May 3. According to Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic, the Arizona Cardinals will pick up the option for All-Pro cornerback Patrick Peterson.
Peterson was the fifth overall selection in the draft and has become one of the top cornerbacks in the league. He’s been named to the Pro Bowl in each of his first three seasons and a first-team All-Pro in 2011 and 2013.
By picking up the option, the Cardinals will owe Peterson in 2015 a salary worth the average of the top 10 highest paid players at the cornerback positon this season.
The option will essentially give Arizona more time to work out a long-term extension with Peterson. On the other hand, Peterson could hold out to force the issue, an option which he hasn’t yet ruled out.