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Fifth-year option tracker

The new rookie wage scale adopted in 2011 requires that all rookies sign four-year contracts. For players taken in the first round, the team has the option to extend the contract for an extra season.

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Decision time has come and gone for the NFL Draft class of 2011. NFL teams had until midnight Friday to decide whether to pick up the extra year in the contract.

Players in the top 10 got a deal equal to the league's transition tag number. Players drafted No. 11-32 got a big raise -- but not quite that big.

The decision to extend the deal wasn't too difficult for solid starters. The salary is guaranteed for injury only, so the team could still cut a player before the 2015 season if they chose. We have used this page to keep track of which players had or didn't have their fifth-year options picked up.

No. 1 pick Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers: Predictably, the Panthers exercised the option on the quarterback a few weeks before the deadline. NFL Media's Albert Breer reported, per a source apprised of the move, that Newton's contract is now safely secured through 2015.

No. 2 pick Von Miller, Denver Broncos: The Broncos picked up the option for the outside linebacker, Breer reported, per a team source. Miller's option is worth $9.754 million.

No. 3 pick Marcell Dareus, Buffalo Bills: The Bills picked up the option on Dareus, general manager Doug Whaley announced. The no-brainer move now keeps Dareus on a rock-solid D line for another year.

No. 4 pick A.J. Green, Cincinnati Bengals: The Bengals picked up the 2015 option on the wide receiver.

No. 5 pick Patrick Peterson, Arizona Cardinals: The Cardinals officially exercised the fifth-year option on the cornerback.

No. 6 pick Julio Jones, Atlanta FalconsThe Falcons announced they exercised the fifth-year option on the dynamic wide receiver a few days ahead of the deadline. 

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No. 7 pick Aldon Smith, San Francisco 49ers: The 49ers announced on Friday that they have exercised the option on Smith's contract despite his recent legal troubles.

No. 8 Jake Locker, Tennessee Titans: The Titans did not exercise the fifth-year option on the oft-injured signal-caller, according to NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport. The Tennessean's Jim Wyatt first reported the news.

No. 9 pick Tyron Smith, Dallas Cowboys: Rapoport reported that the Cowboys picked up Smith's option, which they had planned to do since he signed in 2011. It will pay Smith more than $10 million.

No. 10 pick Blaine Gabbert, Jacksonville Jaguars: The 49ers did not pick up the option for Gabbert. San Francisco dealt a sixth-round draft pick to Jacksonville in March for the former Missouri QB.

No. 11 pick J.J. Watt, Houston Texans: The Texans picked up the option in Watt's deal, according to Rapoport. The deal will pay Watt $6.969 million.

No. 12 pick Christian Ponder, Minnesota Vikings: The Vikings declined to pick up Ponder's fifth-year option, according to Rapoport.

No. 13 pick Nick Fairley, Detroit Lions: The Lions confirmed publicly they didn't pick up Fairley's option. They said they want him more motivated.

No. 14 pick Robert Quinn, St. Louis Rams: The Rams announced they picked up the Pro Bowl pass rusher's $6.969 million option, via media information manager Casey Pearce. The move keeps the dominant pass rushing duo of Quinn and Chris Long together through 2015.

No. 15 pick Mike Pouncey, Miami Dolphins: The Dolphins announced they exercised the option on the center. The fifth year is worth just more than $7.4 million.

No. 16 pick Ryan Kerrigan, Washington Redskins: Washington picked up the outside linebacker's option just before the deadline.

No. 17 pick Nate Solder, New England PatriotsThe Patriots locked up Tom Brady's blindside protector for 2015, Breer reported, according to a source informed of the move. Solder will earn $7.438 million.

No. 18 pick Corey Liuget, San Diego Chargers: San Diego picked up Liuget's $6.969 million option, according to Rapoport.

No. 19 pick Prince Amukamara, New York Giants: The Giants officially picked up the corner's option, Breer reported. Amukamara started all 16 games last season for the first time in his career. He is key to the Giants' revamped secondary. 

No. 20 pick Adrian Clayborn, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: The Bucs didn't extend Clayborn's contract, according to SportsTalkFlorida.com's Jenna Laine. They were unlikely to exercise his option but won't trade him, according to ProFootballTalk, per a league source.

No. 21 pick Phillip Taylor, Cleveland Browns: Taylor's fifth-year option was picked up on deadline day.

No. 22 pick Anthony Castonzo, Indianapolis Colts: The Colts exercised Castonzo's option, a source informed of the move told Rapoport.

No. 23 pick Danny Watkins, Philadelphia Eagles: The Eagles cut Watkins before last season. He's currently not on a roster and was therefore ineligible for the option.

No. 24 pick Cameron Jordan, New Orleans Saints: The Saints exercised Jordan's $6.969 million option for 2015, Rapoport reported, per a source informed of the official move.

No. 25 pick James Carpenter, Seattle Seahawks: The Seahawks announced they declined the fifth-year option on Carpenter's rookie contract.

No. 26 pick Jonathan Baldwin, Kansas City Chiefs: No surprises here. The 49ers declined the option on the wide receiver, whom they acquired from the Kansas City Chiefs last August in exchange for fellow wideout A.J. Jenkins. Baldwin will fight for a roster spot after catching just three passes last season.

No. 27 pick Jimmy Smith, Baltimore Ravens: The Ravens picked up Smith's $6.898 million option. His play steadily has improved in his career.



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No. 28 pick Mark Ingram, New Orleans Saints: The Saints didn't pick up the option on the 2009 Heisman Trophy-winning running back, per Rapoport. New Orleans traded a 2011 second-round pick and 2012 first-round pick to New England for the rights to draft Ingram.

No. 29 pick Gabe Carimi, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Carimi was not eligible for the option because the Bears released him last season from his original rookie deal.

No. 30 pick Muhammad Wilkerson, New York Jets: Rapoport reported that the Jets picked up Wilkerson's option for $6.969 million. He's proven to be one of the best picks of the entire 2011 draft.

No. 31 pick Cameron Heyward, Pittsburgh Steelers: The Steelers exercised the fifth-year option on the defensive lineman.

No. 32 pick Derek Sherrod, Green Bay Packers: The Packers didn't pick up the offensive tackle's option.

In the latest edition of the "Around The League Podcast," the guys discuss Chris Johnson's impact on the Jets, then break down the state of the AFC North.

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