Fifth-year option tracker for 2018 NFL first-round picks

Wild Card Round - Cleveland Browns v Pittsburgh Steelers
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NFL teams will be adding first-round picks to their roster this week and some of them will then turn their attention to first-round picks from 2018.

Fifth-year contract options for players selected in the first round that year need to be exercised by May 3 and some teams have already gotten the ball rolling on those decisions.

In a significant change from past years, the Collective Bargaining Agreement put in place last year calls for the options to be fully guaranteed when exercised. They had been guaranteed against injury only before the change was made in the new CBA.

The salaries for the options are also handled differently as players who have made the Pro Bowl twice will stand to make the same as the franchise tag at their position. Making one Pro Bowl leads to a salary equal to the transition tag and reaching certain playing time criteria — 75 percent of snaps or greater in two of their first three seasons, an average of 75 percent or greater over all three seasons, or 50 percent or greater in each of his first three seasons — sets players up to make the average of the 3rd-20th highest salaries at their position. Any other player would get the average of the 3rd-25th player.

The full list of 2018 first-round picks and the decisions

1. Quarterback Baker Mayfield, Browns — The Browns exercised his $18.858 million option on April 23.

2. Running back Saquon Barkley, Giants — The Giants exercised his $7.217 million on April 28.

3. Quarterback Sam Darnold, Panthers (Drafted and traded by Jets) — The Panthers exercised his $18.858 million on April 30.

4. Cornerback Denzel Ward, Browns — The Browns exercised his $13.294 million option on April 23.

5. Linebacker Bradley Chubb, Broncos — The Broncos reportedly exercised the $12.716 million option on April 30.

6. Guard Quenton Nelson, Colts — The Colts announced April 28 they have exercised his $13.754 million option.

7. Quarterback Josh Allen, Bills — The Bills exercised his $23.106 million on May 3.

8. Linebacker Roquan Smith, Bears — The Bears exercised his $9.735 million option on April 27.

9. Tackle Mike McGlinchey, 49ers — The 49ers announced they are exercising his $10.88 million option on April 26.

10. Quarterback Josh Rosen, Cardinals — No option after being traded to and released by the Dolphins.

11. Safety Minkah Fitzpatrick, Steelers (Drafted and traded by Dolphins) — Pittsburgh exercised his $10.612 million on April 27.

12. Defensive tackle Vita Vea, Buccaneers — The Buccaneers exercised his $7.638 million option on April 26.

13. Defensive tackle Daron Payne, Washington — Washington exercised his $8.529 million option on April 26.

14. Defensive end Marcus Davenport, Saints — The Saints exercised his $9.553 million option on April 29.

15. Tackle Kolton Miller, Raiders — No option as he signed a three-year extension with the team on March 30.

16. Linebacker Tremaine Edmunds, Bills — The Bills exercised his $12.716 million on May 3.

17. Safety Derwin James, Chargers — The Chargers exercised his $9.052 million on April 29.

18. Cornerback Jaire Alexander, Packers — The Packers announced they expect to exercise his $13.294 million option on April 26.

19. Linebacker Leighton Vander Esch, Cowboys — The Cowboys are not expected to exercise his $9.145 million option.

20. Center Frank Ragnow, Lions — The Lions exercised his $12.657 million option on April 28.

21. Center Billy Price, Bengals — The Bengals will not exercise his $10.413 million option.

22. Linebacker Rashaan Evans, Titans — The Titans did not exercise his $9.735 million option.

23. Tackle Isaiah Wynn, Patriots — The Patriots exercised his $10.413 million.

24. Wide receiver D.J. Moore, Panthers — The Panthers will exercise his $11.116 million option.

25. Tight end Hayden Hurst, Falcons (Drafted and traded by Ravens) — The Falcons will not exercise his $5.428 million option.

26. Wide receiver Calvin Ridley, Falcons — The Falcons exercised his $11.116 million on May 3.

27. Running back Rashaad Penny, Seahawks — The Seahawks are not expected to exercise his $4.523 million option.

28. Safety Terrell Edmunds, Steelers — The Steelers are not exercising his $6.753 million option.

29. Defensive tackle Taven Bryan, Jaguars — The Jaguars are not exercising his $7.638 million option.

30. Cornerback Mike Hughes, Vikings — The Vikings are not exercising his $12.643 million option.

31. Running back Sony Michel, Patriots — The Patriots are unlikely to exercise his $4.523 million option.

32. Quarterback Lamar Jackson, Ravens — The Ravens exercised his $23.106 million on April 30.

15 responses to “Fifth-year option tracker for 2018 NFL first-round picks

  1. Lamar Jackson about to the he highest paid throwing running back in the NFL history

  2. Hmmmmm… I look at this list and it strikes me that it seems difficult to find great players in the back half of the first round. After Vander Esch it’s really “iffy”. I guess I’d say Ridley is great, he had his breakout season. A lot of people (other than me) would say Lamar Jackson is great. That’s about all I see.

    I had sky-high hopes for Michel. I think if he wasn’t sharing the backfield with a full-on stable he’d be pushing Barkley for best RB in this class.

  3. Gil Brandt has always said that there really are ~15 true first round talents every year, but even that is a crapshoot. There are a number of players from every draft who prove themselves to be good/great NFL talent, but those are spread all throughout the draft, with even the occasional undrafted free agent having a productive career.

  4. Josh Rosen is no longer a Cardinal. He is a 49er. Frisco has Jimmy G. as starter and will be picking a quarterback #3 overall. It is extremely unlikely that they will pick up the fifth year option of Rosen, who has not started even a single game for them yet. They may keep him around for the 2021 season and see what happens after the season or they may even cut him before the regular season.

  5. ^^^^
    Josh Rosen is no longer on his rookie deal, which is why this article doesn’t explain all of that… because this article is about 5th year options getting picked up on rookie deals… and it’s not even good insight you’re providing. Rosen is signed for this year, and if they draft a QB, he will probably still be with the team as the 3rd QB. At only 850k for a former first round pick, he’s a very affordable backup.

  6. Seahawks won’t pick up the 5th year option on Rashad Penny. He has not been able to stay healthy since the draft, so isn’t worth the guaranteed money that would come with picking up the option. Expect him to be allowed to test free agency in 2022. This coming season will determine his value next off season.

  7. tigerlilac says:
    April 27, 2021 at 1:15 pm

    Pretty good first round picks.
    —-
    I’m guessing you haven’t seen Patriots tackle Isaiah Wynn.

  8. I doubt the Bengals are going to pick up the option for Billy Price. He isn’t even a starter

  9. Taven Bryan has as much chance of being a Jaguar next year as I do. He’s the last vestige of the Tom Coughlin fiasco.

  10. californianewton says:
    April 27, 2021 at 11:27 am

    Josh Rosen is no longer a Cardinal. He is a 49er. Frisco has Jimmy G. as starter and will be picking a quarterback #3 overall. It is extremely unlikely that they will pick up the fifth year option of Rosen,

    ——————————————————————

    5th year option is for rookie contracts. Rosen was cut, thereby terminating his rookie contract. There is not 5th year option to pick up.

  11. 3. Quarterback Sam Darnold, Panthers (Drafted and traded by Jets) — The Panthers exercised his $18.858 million on April 30.

    If he plays poorly, or even like a below average but not horrible QB, do you really want him at that price?

    The Panthers made a huge mistake not drafting a QB.
    When Darnold is a bust their GM will be fired after 2022.

  12. ringheadcrusher says:

    April 27, 2021 at 10:42 am

    Hmmmmm… I look at this list and it strikes me that it seems difficult to find great players in the back half of the first round. After Vander Esch it’s really “iffy”. I guess I’d say Ridley is great, he had his breakout season. A lot of people (other than me) would say Lamar Jackson is great. That’s about all I see.

    I had sky-high hopes for Michel. I think if he wasn’t sharing the backfield with a full-on stable he’d be pushing Barkley for best RB in this class.

    Umm, sorry but Frank Ragnow gave up zero sacks last year, is a beast run blocking, and made the Pro Bowl. I would say that qualifies as pretty great.

  13. comment to ‘roughingthepasser’:
    Sam Darnold is an unknown entity. With the Jets, you cannot see anything but fear in his eyes, game after game. Can you blame him?
    With the Panthers, he has a chance to be the quarterback he was in college. Mark my words, he’s as good a quarterback as what the Panthers could get in the draft.

  14. I hope the Pats pick up BOTH options….
    Wynn is a VERY GOOD player on the field that has had to deal with the injury bug a tad too much but locking him up for 2022 would be wise…
    Sony has played very well but his knee issue could put a wrinkle in extending him but when the Patriots get a TRUE passing QB in the mix instead of one that hogs it & runs because he can’t read a D or throw to a open player then his ability to show his talents would improve…
    My guess is Wynn gets extended & Sony doesn’t though…. Pats will want to see how he holds up this year & then let him test FA….

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