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Defensive end option worth $6.969 million for 2011 draft picks

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As it emerges that draft picks from the first round of the 2011 draft are beginning to have their fifth year options exercised a figure has been confirmed for the true cost to keep Cam Heyward under contract in 2015.

Justin K. Aller

As reported on this site a few days ago the fifth year option for Cam Heyward's contract is due to be exercised by 3rd May as it is for all 2011 first round draft picks.

Although it seems the figure will not be as high as initially thought with a number of $6.969 million looking like the actual cost of the fifth year option to the Steelers and any other team looking to extend their defensive ends from the 2011 draft.

Aaron Wilson, even if does go by Ravens Insider, is plugged into national news and is something of a contract expert. With confirmation on the value of Watt's option, and Muhammad Wilkerson from the NY Jets having the same figure for his fifth year option according to a variety of New York newspapers, it seems safe to say this will be the figure for Heyward too.

A cap hit of almost $7 million will represent a substantial raise for Heyward in 2015 given he is set to take home $1,289,322 in base salary this year but it would benefit the Steelers to try and agree a long term deal with him before next year in the hopes of bringing that figure down a bit.

This is the first time under the new CBA that the fifth year option has come into play and while most players could expect to have their rights retained there will be a few names from the 2011 draft that will be entering free agency in 2015.

It would be a shock if Heyward was one of them and it seems certain the Steelers will announce they have exercised their option on him in the next week or so.