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The Steelers are choosing to decline Terrell Edmunds’ 5th year option

The Pittsburgh Steelers are planning on declining Terrell Edmunds’ fifth year option.

NFL: Buffalo Bills at Pittsburgh Steelers Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports

The Pittsburgh Steelers had to make a very difficult decision with safety Terrell Edmunds. Monday was the deadline for the team to make a decision on the former first round pick’s 5th year option.

After already picking up the 5th year option for Minkah Fitzpatrick, the question then became would they do the same for Edmunds? With the deadline approaching the Steelers decided to decline the option on Edmunds.

The amount of the option for Edmunds would have been $6.753 million as he earned enough playing time to put him into the second category under the new system established in the most recent Collective Bargaining Agreement. Had Edmunds made a Pro Bowl, his option would have been for more than $9 million. By picking up Fitzpatrick’s option, the Steelers shelled out $10.621 million for 2022 which fully guarantees his fourth-year and fifth-year salaries. As for Edmunds, he is now set to be a free agent following the 2021 season.

The decision for the Steelers to not pick up Edmunds’ option marks the third time the Steelers have not picked up the option on a first round pick since the option became a part of the NFL contract for first round picks. The other two instances were with Jarvis Jones and Artie Burns.

Not picking up the option doesn’t mean Edmunds is automatically done in Pittsburgh. The Steelers could still sign Edmunds to a second contract, one which they feel would be more fitting for how they view Edmunds’ worth. However, to do so Edmunds will likely first have to try his hand at free agency. If he finds there isn’t a better deal out there, he certainly could return to the Steelers. It is possible, but unlikely.

Be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the black and gold as they prepare for offseason workouts, the regular season schedule release and mandatory minicamp.