Fifth-Year Option Decisions Hurting 2017 Draft Class


Many NFL players look forward to entering their fourth season because it is the time when teams decide to give players a contract extension or at the very pick up their fifth-year option. Of course, some players have their options declined, making them free agents at the conclusion of the impending season.

For the draft class of 2017, this is their time for just that. Over the last few days, decisions have been made for some while more wait in the balance.

In reflection, the 2017 draft class included Patrick Mahomes, Deshaun Watson, and T.J. Watt.


No. 1 overall pick Myles Garrett had his fifth-year option picked up by the Cleveland Browns despite some doubt after his helmet-wielding incident against the Pittsburgh Steelers for which he was later reinstated.

The second pick, Chicago Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky, is still waiting in the balance. A questionable pick at the time and even more so since as Mahomes and Watson have had immense success this far, Trubisky could lose his job to Nick Foles, who was traded to Chicago from the Jaguars this offseason. The swap came just one year removed from Foles signing a big contract. This sequence of events makes it seem unlikely that Chicago will pick up Trubisky’s $25 million-plus option.


Defensive end Solomon Thomas was the third overall pick by the San Francisco 49ers. The team declined to pick up his option this week.

The Jaguars picked Leonard Fournette with the fourth pick out of LSU. His option was declined on Friday night. He seemed to have been injured or suspended more than he was on the field despite tallying over 1,000 rushing yards in a season twice for the Jaguars.

Corey Davis was the fifth overall pick by the Tennessee Titans. His option was declined on Friday, too. While Davis has shown flashes of promise, the emergence of A.J. Brown last season is what the team had originally expected out of Davis.

In a no-brainer type of move, safety Jamal Adams had his option picked up by the New York Jets. The team was reportedly fielding calls in regards to trading the Pro Bowler but instead, an extension seems more imminent.


The Los Angeles Chargers, in a move that provides rookie quarterback Justin Herbert with a reliable target as well as a deep threat, decided to pick up wide receiver Mike Williams’s option.

Christian McCaffrey, selected at No. 8 overall, signed a four-year contract extension with the Carolina Panthers. The pact includes $38.2 million in guaranteed money.

In an unprecedented turn of events, come the 2021 season, half of the top 10 picks from 2017 will likely be finding a new home.


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