Taking a look at fifth-year options for 2012 first-round picks
NFL teams are now deciding whether or not to pick up the fifth-year options on 2012 first-round draft picks. Here’s a rundown of where each team stands:
ALREADY PICKED UP
The Colts have announced the obvious, they will pick up the option and pay first overall pick Andrew Luck $16.2 million in 2016.
The Chargers have picked up the $7.8 million option on linebacker Melvin Ingram.
The Steelers have picked up the $8.1 million option on guard David DeCastro.
WILL BE PICKED UP
The Dolphins have made clear that they will pick up the $16.2 million option on quarterback Ryan Tannehill.
The Panthers will certainly pick up the $11.1 million option on linebacker Luke Kuechly.
The Bills will pick up the $11.1 million option on cornerback Stephon Gilmore.
The Chiefs will pick up the $6.1 million option on defensive tackle Dontari Poe.
The Rams will pick up the $6.1 million option on defensive tackle Michael Brockers.
The Seahawks will likely pick up the $7.8 million option on linebacker Bruce Irvin.
The Titans will pick up the $7.3 million option on receiver Kendall Wright.
The Patriots will pick up their options on both of their 2012 first-round picks, a $7.8 million option on defensive end Chandler Jones and a $7.8 million option on linebacker Dont’a Hightower.
The Bengals will pick up the $8.1 million option on guard Kevin Zeitler.
The Vikings will pick up the $5.3 million option on safety Harrison Smith.
The most interesting decision on the board is whether Washington will pick up the $16.2 million option on Robert Griffin III. Fifth-year options are guaranteed for injury, and given Griffin’s injury history, it seems unlikely that Washington would give him that kind of money with an injury guarantee.
The Vikings will probably pick up the $11.1 million option on left tackle Matt Kalil, although he was a disappointment last season and has had a knee injury, so that won’t be an easy decision.
The Cowboys will probably not pick up the $11.1 million option on cornerback Morris Claiborne, given that injuries have forced him to miss most of the last two seasons.
The Rams have a decision to make on safety Mark Barron, who was drafted by the Buccaneers but has since been traded to St. Louis. Barron probably hasn’t played well enough to justify an $8.3 million option.
It’s anyone’s guess what Chip Kelly will decide to do with Fletcher Cox, the Eagles defensive end who would get $7.8 million in 2016 if his option is picked up.
The Bengals seem to like the talent of cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick, but they may decide that a $7.5 million option is too much for a player who has started only five games in three seasons.
Cardinals receiver Michael Floyd has played well, but well enough for a $7.3 million salary in 2016?
It’s unclear whether the Jets’ new decision makers see defensive end Quinton Coples as a good fit, so his $7.8 million option is up in the air.
Riley Reiff is the Lions’ starting left tackle, which would seem to make him a good bet to get his $8.1 million option picked up, although the team has said no decision has been made.
The Texans will have a tough time deciding whether to pick up the $7.8 million option on pass rusher Whitney Mercilus. With the likes of J.J. Watt, Vince Wilfork and Jadeveon Clowney in Houston, the Texans may decide that they can’t afford another big salary on the defensive line.
WON’T BE PICKED UP
The Bears aren’t likely to pick up the option on Shea McClellin, who has been a disappointment.
The Packers probably won’t pick up the option on Nick Perry, who has mostly been a backup in his three years in Green Bay.
Doug Martin looked like a star in the making during his rookie year in Tampa, but a lot has changed since then and the new brass doesn’t seem enamored with him. He’s a long shot to have his option picked up.
NO DECISION TO MAKE
Neither of the Browns’ 2012 first-round picks have fifth-year options to pick up: Trent Richardson was traded to the Colts, cut and signed by the Raiders, while Brandon Weeden was cut by the Browns and signed by the Cowboys.
The 49ers’ first-round pick, A.J. Jenkins, was a major disappointment and is now out of the NFL.
The Giants’ first-round pick, David Wilson, retired because of a neck injury.
The Jaguars’ first-round pick, Justin Blackmon had his contract put on hold when he was suspended for violating the league’s substance-abuse policy. It’s unclear when or if the Jaguars will get Blackmon back, but it will be at least another year before they would have a fifth-year option decision to make.