Though the upcoming NFL draft is what is on most team’s minds, there is another key date coming up as well: May 3, when teams must decide to pick up the fifth-year options for their 2012 draft picks.
One of these teams is the Arizona Cardinals, who have to make a decision on what to do about wide receiver Michael Floyd. Mike Jurecki of FOX Sports 910 (via Pro Football Talk) says that the Cardinals have yet to make up their minds on Floyd’s 2016 option and that they won’t make their decision until after the draft.
Floyd has totaled 157 receptions for 2,494 yards and 13 touchdowns in three seasons in Arizona, with 47 receptions for 841 yards ands six scores in 2014. Those are respectable numbers. But the fifth-year option would pay Floyd $7.3 million in 2016 and he has yet to put together a season that would justify such a high salary, especially one that is fully guaranteed for injury.
The 2015 draft class is exceptionally deep at wide receiver, which is another reason for the Cardinals to wait until after the draft is over to make up their minds about Floyd. If they can land a receiver they believe to be comparable to or better than Floyd, then they would be less inclined to pick up his fifth-year option. If they don’t, then Floyd will be more likely to get his big 2016 payday.
For this very reason, the option deadline is always scheduled for after the draft. This gives teams the opportunity to have a better idea where their rosters stand at the present time and what they may look like in a year or more down the road. Then, they can make a more informed decision about a player’s fifth-year option and whether or not it’s worth it.
Though some teams are quick to hand out fifth-year options to their players, that’s clearly not the case with the Cardinals and Floyd this year. Until the Cardinals have made all of their draft picks will they know how much they will need Floyd in the future.
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