NFL 5th-year player options: Track the team's 2021 first-round picks

The 2024 NFL Draft is over. Next on the league calendar: Thursday's deadline for teams to decide whether to exercise fifth-year options for players drafted in the 2021 first round.

When exercised, these options translate into pay increases for players while keeping them under contract through the 2025 season. Options also help give teams more time to evaluate before contract negotiations. Several teams have already announced their decisions to exercise those options, and some first-round picks from the class of 2021 have already received long-term extensions.

Here's a summary of where all of the 2021 first-round picks stand. Not included on this list: Offensive tackle Alex Leatherwood, who was drafted by the Las Vegas Raiders 17th overall but was held back in August 2022. He is a free agent.

Long term extensions

Penei Sewell, OT, Detroit Lions

Choose: 7

Still just 23 years old, Sewell signed a four-year, $112 million extension with the Lions last week, which includes $85 million guaranteed. He is now under contract through 2029 and is the highest-paid offensive lineman in the league with an average annual value of $28 million per year.

DeVonta Smith, WR, Philadelphia Eagles

Choose: 10

A day after picking up his $15.59 million fifth-year option, the Eagles agreed to sign the wide receiver (after two straight 1,000-yard seasons) to a three-year, $75 million extension with a $20.35 million signing bonus and $51 million guaranteed.

Rashod Pittman, WR, Baltimore Ravens

Selection: 27

Pittman received a two-year contract extension last week that will keep him in Baltimore through the 2026 season. He certainly has the ability to be an impactful wide receiver, and the Ravens always need more weapons for Lamar Jackson, but durability and consistency have limited him throughout His first three seasons. Terms of the deal were not announced, but his option for 2025 was $14.35 million. Committing to this increase or something similar (from $2.38 million in 2024) is a big jump.


The Jaguars exercised their Trevor Lawrence option. Is a long-term extension next? (Jeremy Rieber/USA Today)

The fifth year option is exercised

Trevor Lawrence, QB, Jacksonville Jaguars

Select: 1 | 2025 option: $25.66 million

Lawrence was strong. He has yet to reach an elite level, but he has a playoff win under his belt and seems likely to continue his ascension under the tutelage of Doug Pederson. The two sides continue discussions in order to reach a long-term agreement.

Kyle Pitts, TE, Atlanta Falcons

Select: 4 | 2025 option: $10.88 million

Betts is poised for a big year with Kirk Cousins ​​now directing a tight-knit attack. The former Florida star, who posted a 1,000-yard season as a starter, should finish second after two down years driven largely by poor quarterback play.

See also  The Phillies extended an offer to Yoshinobu Yamamoto

Ja'Marr Chase, WR, Cincinnati Bengals

Select: 5 | 2025 option: $21.82 million

Chase is one of the best wide receivers in the game, with three straight 1,000-yard seasons (two over 1,200 yards). Will the next expansion break the record?

Jaylen Waddle, WR, Miami Dolphins

Select: 6 | 2025 option: $15.59 million

Waddle began his career with three straight 1,000-yard seasons. Miami expects more of the same in the coming years.

Jesse Horn, CB, Carolina Panthers

Select: 8 | 2025 option: $12.47 million

Closeout corners are highly valued, which is why the Panthers exercised Horn's option, with the goal of extending him beyond 2025.

Pat Surtain II, CB, Denver Broncos

Select: 9 | 2025 option: $19.8 million

The Broncos have parted ways with offensive players while reshaping the roster, but they are expected to do everything possible to hold on to Surtain, who is considered one of the best defensive backs in the game.

deepen

Go deeper

As Broncos CB Pat Surtain's awards pile up, a contract extension question looms

Micah Parsons, LB, Dallas Cowboys

Select: 12 | 2025 option: $21.32 million

Parsons is one of the most dominant playmakers in the NFL. Dallas wisely exercised its option last week and will likely eventually work out an extension.

Rashawn Slater, OT, Los Angeles Chargers

Select: 13 | 2025 option: $19.04 million

Slater looks like one of the best young left tackles in the game, and the Chargers know they have to do everything they can to keep Justin Herbert upright.

Alijah Vera-Tucker, OG, New York Jets

Select: 14 | 2025 option: $15.31 million

Vera-Tucker is certainly talented, and a quality offensive line is a top priority for the Jets as they welcome back Aaron Rodgers from the torn Achilles tendon he suffered in Week 1. But Vera-Tucker has suffered season-ending injuries twice in the last three years, so he has something to prove in the next two years.

Jaylan Phillips, Edge, Miami Dolphins

Select: 18 | 2025 option: $13.25 million

Phillips has shown great promise. A torn Achilles tendon prematurely ended his 2023 campaign, so the option made sense. The decision gives him time to prove he can regain his best form while the Dolphins continue to evaluate him for a potential multi-year contract extension.


The Vikings didn't have to think twice about exercising Christian Darrisaw's fifth-year option. (Eric Hartline/USA Today)

Christian Darrisaw, OT, Minnesota Vikings

Select: 23 | 2025 option: $16.04 million

Darrisaw is a talented young left fielder who will serve the Vikings and their future franchise quarterback (JJ McCarthy?) well. Exercising the option was an easy call.

Travis Etienne Jr., RB, Jacksonville Jaguars

Select: 25 | 2025 option: $6.143 million

Coming off back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons, Etienne is an important part of Jacksonville's offense, so the option makes a lot of sense.

See also  Lionel Messi will likely make his Inter Miami debut off the bench tonight

Greg Newsome II, CB, Cleveland Browns

Select: 26 | 2025 option: $13.38 million

Newsome hasn't proven himself to be a player worthy of a $10 million-plus-per-year salary, but he's a solid player, and he's still growing.

Greg Russo, edge, Buffalo Bills

Select: 30 | 2025 option: $13.39 million

Russo is promising, but not yet dominant, entering his fourth season. However, you can never have too many pass rushers, so picking up the option gives him more time to develop and gives Buffalo more time to evaluate.

Scope City Newsletter

Scope City Newsletter

Free daily NFL updates straight to your inbox. subscription

Free daily NFL updates straight to your inbox. subscription

He buysPurchase the Scoop City newsletter

I'm still waiting

Zach Wilson, QB, Denver Broncos (traded from New York Jets)

Select: 2 | 2025 option: $22.41 million

The Jets traded Wilson and a 2024 seventh-round pick to the Broncos last week for a sixth-round pick. After drafting Bo Nix 12th overall, and with a current veteran in Jarrett Stidham, the Broncos are unlikely to pick up the Wilson option. Instead, it's probably nothing more than a one-year trial backup.

Trey Lance, QB, Dallas Cowboys (traded from San Francisco 49ers)

Select: 3 | 2025 option: $22.41 million

As the Cowboys' third-string quarterback, Lance did not set foot on the field last season. Dallas is unlikely to exercise his fifth-year option, but the one-time receiver for the 49ers could stay with the Cowboys in 2025 for a lower price.

Justin Fields, QB, Pittsburgh Steelers (traded from Chicago Bears)

Select: 11 | 2025 option: $25.66 million

Fields could end up being Pittsburgh's quarterback of the future depending on how he develops behind Russell Wilson. But the Steelers will likely wait and see how things play out rather than pick up the option.

Mac Jones, QB, Jacksonville Jaguars (traded from New England Patriots)

Select: 15 | 2025 option: $13.25 million

Jones was a low-cost, one-year trial acquisition as an insurance policy for Lawrence, but the Jaguars could find another backup at a lower cost next season.

Zavin Collins, LB, Arizona Cardinals

Select: 16 | 2025 option: $13.25 million

Collins impressed here and there as an inside linebacker and last season tried to transition to edge rusher. Shows some promise, but enough to justify such a salary? Probably not.

Kadarius Toney, WR, Kansas City Chiefs (traded from New York Giants)

Select: 20 | 2025 option: $14.35 million

Tony has talent. And given Rashie Rice's situation, Kansas City needs extensive help. But Toney is too unreliable on and off the field to justify exercising that option.

Kwity Bey, Edge, Indianapolis Colts

Select: 21 | 2025 option: $13.39 million

See also  UEFA suspends VAR technology after Paris Saint-Germain's penalty kick against Newcastle

​​The former Michigan star is coming off the best season of his career, where he appears to have the potential to step up even further and be a consistently good player — not a dominant one. Is it worth it to pick an option that would be a reasonable deal for Indianapolis if Bey has a double-digit season in 2024? Or should the Colts roll the dice and wait until next year to make a decision on his future, even if it means competing in the market?

deepen

Go deeper

Kwity Paye's fifth-year option: Why the Colts should and shouldn't pay Paye

Caleb Farley, CB, Tennessee Titans

Select: 22 | 2025 option: $12.47 million

Injuries have limited Farley to 12 games (two starts) in three seasons, and he won't play at all in 2023. Expect the Giants to decline that option.

Najee Harris, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers

Select: 24 | 2025 option: $6.79 million

The running game is extremely important for the Steelers, especially as they try to shore up a quarterback in their reclamation project that consists of Russell Wilson and Fields. Running backs always face longevity issues, so extending Harris for another season via option will save Pittsburgh from having to make a large multi-year commitment right now.

Payton Turner, Edge, New Orleans Saints

Select: 28 | 2025 option: $13.39 million

Turner never played a full season. An eight-game 2022 showing was his best. Nothing has emerged to justify exercising the option.

Eric Stokes, CB, Green Bay Packers

Select: 29 | 2025 option: $12.47 million

Stokes has barely seen the field over the past two seasons, so Green Bay will likely decline that option.

Odafy Aweh, Edge, Baltimore Ravens

Select: 31 | 2025 option: $13.25 million

Oweh appeared to be on the rise before an injury derailed his 2023 season. However, the Ravens are getting the better of him and believe he can further develop into a pass rusher.

Joe Tryon-Soyinka, Edge, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Select: 32 | 2025 option: $13.25 million

Tryon-Shoyinka has flashed but hasn't settled into that consistent level of impactful playmaking that the Bucs want. They have had some losses on the defensive side of the ball this season, so exercising the option to buy more time for both Tryon-Cuyinka and themselves could be the right decision.

decreased

LB Jamin Davis, Washington Leaders

Select: 19 | 2025 option: $14.48 million

Davis had little influence in Washington. He recorded 104 tackles and three sacks in 2022, but his flaws are more plentiful than his impactful moments. Washington was content to decline his option to see if Dan Quinn (who is a better defensive mind than Jack Del Rio) could position Davis for growth in 2024.

(Best photos by Najee Harris and Kuwaiti Bay: Gene Gershovich and Rob Carr/Getty Images)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *