Patriots facing deadline to exercise fifth-year option for pair of first-rounders
The New England Patriots face an important deadline on Monday: they need to decide whether to exercise the fifth-year option for both first-round picks from the 2018 draft, offensive lineman Isaiah Wynn and running back Sony Michel. (Update: The Patriots have reportedly picked up Wynn’s option and declined Michel’s. Read more on the details of each option below.)
The numbers: $10.4 million for Wynn, the 23rd pick in 2018, and $4.5 million for Michel, the 31st pick. The latter doesn’t seem likely to be picked up, considering the Patriots are projected to spend $6.9 million on all running backs combined in 2021. And that doesn’t include Oklahoma running back Rhamondre Stevenson, whom the Patriots drafted in the fourth round on Saturday.
Wynn, however, has a chance to have his fifth-year option exercised ahead of the deadline. The $10.4 million price tag isn’t cheap for a guy who played only 18 of a possible 32 games in his first two seasons as he dealt with various injuries, but Wynn has been a solid left tackle for the Patriots when healthy. And despite drafting Colorado’s William Sherman in the sixth round on Saturday, the Patriots have no clear answer at the position beyond 2021.
Wynn still represents a better option for 2022 than any other left tackle on the roster. So if the Patriots do pick up a fifth-year option, it’s likely to be his.
Notable 2018 first-rounders to have their fifth-year option exercised early on deadline day include Bills quarterback Josh Allen and linebacker Tremaine Edmunds, and Falcons wide receiver Calvin Ridley.
Matt Dolloff is a writer and podcaster for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Yell at him on Twitter @mattdolloff and follow him on Instagram @mattydsays. You can also email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.