That number has already gone up. Mike Chappell of the Indianapolis Star reports that the Colts have also jumped the May 3 deadline and exercised their option on left tackle Anthony Castonzo’s contract.
As in most of these cases, it was an easy call for Indy. Castonzo has started every one of the 44 games he’s played for the team since they selected him with the 22nd pick of the 2011 draft and exercising his option gives the team his rights for $8.9 million over the next two seasons, which buys them plenty of time to decide on an extension or another direction to go at a key spot on the offensive line.
It is the first group of draft picks with the fifth-year options available under the CBA and, when all is said and done, it looks like more than half the first-round picks from 2011 will wind up getting them exercised.