Dynasty Impact: Fifth-Year Option Candidates

The 2017 season has only just ended. Plans and schemes for the 2018 campaign have only just begun to be hatched, but teams have a piece of business regarding the 2019 season to take care of first. Namely, whether or not they want to exercise the fifth-year options on first-players they selected in the first round of the 2015 NFL Draft. You’d think, given this draft capital, it would be a no-brainer option, but this isn’t always the case. Here, I will look at the fantasy-relevant players for whom teams will be forced to make this decision and offer my thoughts as to whether they should be retained or set loose. In case it is not clear what it is I’m talking about, I should offer some quick information. Under the 2011 Collective Bargaining Agreement, all first-round draft picks have to sign four-year deals, with a team option for a fifth year. This option has to be exercised by the March before their fourth year. What are the terms of the option? Well, this is where it gets a little more complicated. As Jimmy Kempski explains:

“For players drafted in the top 10, the cost of the fifth year is the average of the top 10 salaries in the NFL at that player’s position in the fourth year of their contracts. For players drafted anywhere in the range of 11th to 32nd overall, it is the average of the third-highest paid player to the 25th-highest paid player at that player’s position in the fourth year of their contracts.”

The money is fully guaranteed for injury only. So if a player suffers a catastrophic injury in Year 4 that causes him to miss his entire fifth year, he’s still getting paid. This is where it can become risky, especially if the player has shown signs of developing a deep relationship with the physio’s couch.

So, with all that explained, let’s get right into it starting with the man taken first overall in 2015, Jameis Winston.

Subscribe to the best value in fantasy sports

Subscribing is the only way to make sure you don't ever miss an article.

By Neil Dutton | @ndutton13 | Archive