HomeFootball DirtFifth-Year Option Salaries for 2025 Unveiled

Fifth-Year Option Salaries for 2025 Unveiled

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The unveiling of Friday’s salary cap ($255.4MM) solidifies the franchise tag tender amounts and establishes the fifth-year option prices for the 2021 first-round class. This significant increase in the cap is welcome news for the latter group.

This marks the fourth offseason under the tiered fifth-year option system. The NFL’s 2020 CBA modified the option structure for first-round picks, ensuring full guarantees based on performance and utilization. Prior to this, the 2011 CBA only guaranteed the options for injury, allowing teams to release players without repercussions as long as they passed March physicals. The draft classes of 2018, 2019, 2020, and now 2021 have access to fully guaranteed options.

Top-tier players include those who have received original Pro Bowl invitations multiple times. Micah Parsons, Patrick Surtain, and Ja’Marr Chase fall into this category. Here are the projected 2024 option prices for these players, matching the franchise tag values for that year (source: NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero):

  • Quarterback: $38.3MM
  • Running back: $11.95MM
  • Wide receiver: $21.82MM
  • Tight end: $12.69MM
  • Offensive line: $20.99MM
  • Defensive end: $21.32MM
  • Defensive tackle: $22.1MM
  • Linebacker: $24MM
  • Cornerback: $19.8MM
  • Safety: $17.12MM
  • Kicker/punter: $5.98MM

The second tier of the option structure applies to players who have been selected to one Pro Bowl as non-alternates. Penei Sewell, Rashawn Slater, and Kyle Pitts fall into this tier, with their option prices matching the 2024 transition tag values.

  • Quarterback: $34.37MM
  • Running back: $9.77MM
  • Wide receiver: $19.77MM
  • Tight end: $10.88MM
  • Offensive line: $19MM
  • Defensive end: $19.1MM
  • Defensive tackle: $18.49MM
  • Linebacker: $19.97MM
  • Cornerback: $17.22MM
  • Safety: $13.82MM
  • Kicker/punter: $5.43MM

Participation plays a role in the final two tiers. Tier 3 includes players who meet specific playing time criteria from their first three seasons. Trevor Lawrence, DeVonta Smith, Jaylen Waddle, and Christian Darrisaw fall into this category, with their option prices set based on the average of the third-20th highest salaries at their respective positions.

  • Quarterback: $25.66MM
  • Running back: $6.79MM
  • Wide receiver: $15.59MM
  • Tight end: $7.96MM
  • Offensive line: $16.04MM
  • Defensive end: $14.58MM
  • Defensive tackle: $13.1MM
  • Linebacker: $14.48MM
  • Cornerback: $13.38MM
  • Safety: $9.51MM
  • Kicker/punter: $4.39MM

The fourth and final tier applies to players who do not meet the participation requirements of the other tiers. These players have their option prices set at:

  • Quarterback: $22.41MM
  • Running back: $6.14MM
  • Wide receiver: $14.35MM
  • Tight end: $7.21MM
  • Offensive line: $13.31MM
  • Defensive end: $13.39MM
  • Defensive tackle: $11.75MM
  • Linebacker: $13.25MM
  • Cornerback: $12.47MM
  • Safety: $8.65MM
  • Kicker/punter: $4.1MM

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