Breakdown Of The 2011 Draft Class With Regards To Fifth-Year Options & Extensions


Albert Breer of offers some specifics regarding fifth-year options for the 2011 draft class.

This will be the first draft class impacted by the new rules that come from the most recent CBA agreement.

  • Teams can exercise options for first-round picks on the first day of the 2014 NFL season and will have until May 3 to do so.
  • Options for players taken in the top 10 will be worth the equivalent of the 2014 transition-tag number for their respective position.
  • Options for players taken No. 11 – No. 32 will be derived from the average of the No. 3 – No. 25 highest-paid players at their respective position.

According to Breer, these options are only guaranteed for injury upon being exercised, so teams can release a player later in the year without paying them the full option.

Here’s a look at the 2011 draft class and who could be in line for an extension or worth exercising their fifth-year option.


PickTeamPlayerOption or Extension?
1CARCam NewtonCAR is almost certain to begin long-term contract talks this
offseason, but an option is a no-brainer if a deal can’t be reached.
2DENVon MillerLong-term extension should be the Broncos top priority, but
there are off-the-field concerns. Option is a contingency. 
3BUFMarcell DareusAccording to Pro Football Focus, Dareus has been a top-12 DT for
each season in the league. Extension should be discussed. 
4CINA.J. GreenGreen is clearly among the best players at the WR position.
Long-term extension should be discussed. 
5ARIPatrick PetersonARI’s defense has great young pieces to build around. ARI is
believed to be prepared to discuss a long-term deal this offseason.   
6ATLJulio JonesATL’s season took a major turn for the worse after Jones went
down. White is 31, so they need to get something done with Jones soon. 
7SFAldon SmithSmith is another extension candidate, but SF needs to be careful
how they spend their $. Off-the-field issues could impact their
8TENJake LockerLocker is the first real question mark of this draft class. TEN
could pickup his option, but that would likely cost them $14M. 
9DALTyron SmithIt’s surprising that Smith doesn’t get more attention. He’s been
very solid for DAL and should be an extension candidate.
DAL does have cap issues. 
10JAXBlaine GabbertThere’s no way Gabbert is back with the Jaguars next season. Not
at the price tag that comes from picking up his option. 
11HOUJ.J. WattWatt needs a new contract asap. He has a good chance of being a
once-in-a-generation talent. 
12MINChristian PonderHis days in MIN are numbered. Taking the AVG salary of No. 3 –
25 QBs in 2013 would mean the MIN would have to pay him $11.5M.
Not happening. 
13DETNick FairleyFairley got off to a slow start, but has proved to be a solid
value pick. DET could have some cap issues next year. Extension makes
14STLRobert QuinnQuinn has become one of the best pass-rushers in the league and
is still only 23. Extension should be discussed, but option is certain to be
picked up. 
15MIAMike PounceyMIA has so many OL issues that they can’t allow a top-ten center
to get away when he could be a building block. Extension would make
more sense. 
16WASRyan KerriganIt’s been surprising to see how well Kerrigan has played since
entering the NFL. WAS defense needs more young talent. Extension
makes sense. 
17NENate SolderSolder has been a top-20 OT the past two seasons and is now
among the best LTs in the game. Extension could be discussed this
18SDCorey LiugetLiuget has been up and down through three seasons with SD.
There’s a chance they pick up his option, but that could be pricey. 
19NYGPrince AmukamaraNYG always seem to need help at CB, but Prince hasn’t had a big
impact thus far. I wouldn’t be surprised to them pass on picking up his
20TBAdrian ClaybornTB used their top-two selections in 2011 on DE, but neither has
developed into a solid player worthy of their option being picked up. 
21CLEPhil TaylorTaylor has ability, but he has yet to develop into a great
player. The option would likely cost them close to $5.5 – $6M.
Option seems possible.
22INDAnthony CastonzoCastonzo is serviceable at times, but not quite the type of player
IND was hoping for. I can’t see them picking up an option that could be
23PHIDanny WatkinsWatkins is no longer with PHI and is currently on the Dolphins
practice squad. Clearly a draft bust. 
24NOCameron JordanIt’s been incredible to see how well Jordan is playing at 3-4 DE
as opposed to 4-3 DE. Extension candidate for sure with an option in
25SEAJames CarpenterCarpenter hasn’t been very good since entering the league and is
now playing G for SEA. An extension is possible, but would require a
26KCJonathan BaldwinNo longer with KC. Struggling to get playing time in SF. Another
draft bust. 
27BALJimmy SmithSmith is an interesting case. He helped BAL win a SB, but hasn’t
been all that great or consistent. An extension could be discussed, but no
28NOMark IngramIngram has been rumored to be on the trading block for awhile
now. There’s almost no chance of him getting an extension or his option
picked up. 
29CHIGabe CarimiNo longer with CHI. Playing for TB right now. Another draft
30NYJMuhammad WilkersonNYJ got a steal with Wilkerson at No. 30. He’s one of the best
players in the draft and at his position. Extension will be discussed and
option is possible
31PITCameron HeywardPIT has cap issues moving forward so it won’t be easy for the to
keep Heyward who has been serviceable in recent years. 
32GBDerek SherrodSuffered a serious leg injury that cost him close to two full
seasons. It’s doubtful GB will discuss an extension at this point.
Option is not happening.


Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments