The Pittsburgh Steelers have a decision to make as it pertains to their two first round safeties. With both being selected, although not both by the Steelers, in the first round, the Steelers hold the control over both Minkah Fitzpatrick and Terrell Edmunds’ fifth year options.
As of Tuesday, it is being reported by Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network the Steelers have picked up Fitzpatrick’s option.
The #Steelers have exercised the fifth-year option for safety Minkah Fitzpatrick, source said. The #Bears have done the same for Roquan Smith.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) April 27, 2021
Everyone knew the team would pick up Fitzpatrick’s option, it was a no-brainer, but what was interesting in the aforementioned report was there was no word on the team’s plans for Terrell Edmunds.
Under the new Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) how much players make on the fifth year option depends on the success they’ve had in the first three years of their career. For a player like Fitzpatrick who has been a Pro Bowl and All-Pro the past two seasons, his option would be significantly more than Edmunds, who has yet to achieve either of those accolades.
Here is a more detailed breakdown on how the option pays out under the new CBA:
The payout for the fifth-year option in the new CBA comes on four different levels, although they are not called “levels” in their terminology. All players begin in what could be described as the first level and can reach the next level based on the percentage of snaps they have played in their first three seasons. To reach the third level, players must be selected to a Pro Bowl on the original ballot during their first three seasons, equating their fifth-year salary to that of the same position of someone receiving the transition tag. If a player was selected to multiple Pro Bowls on the original ballot, they reach the highest level which equals the pay of the franchise tag at a given position.
The Steelers don’t have a ton of time to make the decision on these players, with May 3rd being the NFL deadline for organizations to either pick up, or decline, the option. Since the fifth year option was instituted, the Steelers have only passed on the fifth year option twice, and those players were Jarvis Jones and Artie Burns.
Stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news on this story, and more, as the team prepares for the 2021 NFL Draft this weekend.