The NFL set May 3rd as the date in which NFL teams have to decide whether they want to pick up a player’s 5th year option or let him hit the open market. For the Pittsburgh Steelers, their decision on Artie Burns seems obvious — don’t pick up the option. But you just never know what the organization’s thoughts are about having a top draft pick play four years and possibly depart the team.
Recently, Gerry Dulac joined ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler with reporting how the Steelers are not planning on picking up the team’s 5th year option.
PER SOURCE: The Steelers have elected not to pick up the fifth-year option on CB Artie Burns and he will become a free agent after the 2019 season. The former No. 1 pick would have cost the Steelers $9.594 million in 2020 if the team exercised the option.— Gerry Dulac (@gerrydulac) May 3, 2019
As Dulac writes, the option would cost the team over $9 million dollars for just one year of service. For a player who has been reduced to just playing special teams, this is an outrageous amount of money.
If this comes to fruition, Burns would join Jarvis Jones as the only top draft picks to not have their option picked up by the Steelers since the option became a possibility.
But what if Burns turns his game around? If this happens, and that is one mighty big if, the Steelers would still have the ability to re-sign Burns to a new contract once the season ends, before the start of the new league year. If a deal wasn’t reached before the start of free agency, Burns would become a Unrestricted Free Agent (UFA) and have his choice of where to play in 2020.
While this decision seems pretty black-and-white, a question which should be asked is whether Burns even makes the Steelers’ 53-man roster after training camp this season. What do you think? Will he make the team this year? Let us know by voting in the poll below, as well as commenting in the comment section!
Will Artie Burns make the Steelers 53-man roster in 2019?
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