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Fifth-year option tracker for 2014 first-round picks

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  • By Jeremy Bergman NFL.com
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Pick it up!

It's fifth-year-option exercising season, and with the deadline at end of the day on May 2, teams are already extending their 2014 first-round picks for at least one more year.

While all rookies are required to sign four-year deals out of the draft, teams have the option to pick up a fifth-year option on first-round picks. In that case, the fifth year's salary is guaranteed for injury when employed. For the 2014 draft class, that fifth season will be 2018, or the one after next.

The fifth-year salary varies depending on how high the player was drafted. The top 10 selections receive a salary equal to the average of the 10 highest salaries at their position. For the remainder of the first round, the wage is the average of the third through 25th highest salaries at the position.

Three seasons in, the 2014 first round is a mixed bag of Pro Bowl regulars (Khalil Mack, Aaron Donald, Mike Evans, Odell Beckham), stars in the making (Jadeveon Clowney, Zack Martin) and, well, former Browns.

Who deserves another year with his original team? Which players will be seeking either new employment or a new extension after the 2017 campaign closes?

Follow along below with our fifth-year option tracker (analysis where applicable):

No. 1 pick Jadeveon Clowney, Houston Texans: After Clowney's breakout, mostly injury-free 2016 season, the Texans picked up the pass rusher's fifth-year option on April 15.

No. 2 pick Greg Robinson, Los Angeles Rams The addition of Andrew Whitworth means Robinson is expected to move to right tackle in his first season under Sean McVay. With Aaron Donald, the Rams' second first-round selection, receiving a fifth year, the Rams declined to pick up Robinson's option, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport confirmed May 2.

No. 3 pick Blake Bortles, Jacksonville Jaguars: The Jaguars picked up the signal caller's fifth-year option on May 1.

No. 4 pick Sammy Watkins, Buffalo Bills: The team chose not to pick up the wide receiver's option, the team announced on May 2.

No. 5 pick Khalil Mack, Oakland Raiders: The Raiders exercised Mack's option. Obviously.

No. 6 pick Jake Matthews, Atlanta Falcons: The Falcons announced on April 25 that they picked up Matthews' fifth-year option. In three seasons in Atlanta, the left tackle has started all 47 games he has played in.

No. 7 pick Mike Evans, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: General manager Jason Licht announced on April 17 that Tampa Bay has picked up Evans' fifth-year option. The next step will be working out a long-term deal to secure the wideout for the duration of the Winston era.

No. 8 pick Justin Gilbert, Cleveland Browns: Gilbert is no longer a member of the Browns under his current contract and was released after a disappointing season with the Steelers in 2016.

No. 9 pick Anthony Barr, Minnesota Vikings: The Vikings announced on May 1 that they picked up Barr's fifth-year option.

No. 10 pick Eric Ebron, Detroit Lions: The Lions announced on May 2 that they picked up Ebron's option.

No. 11 pick Taylor Lewan, Tennessee Titans: The Titans picked up Lewan's fifth-year option on April 25, calling it a "relatively easy decision."

No. 12 pick Odell Beckham Jr., New York Giants: The Giants picked up the receiver's fifth-year option on April 27, the team announced.

No. 13 pick Aaron Donald, Los Angeles Rams: No-brainer for the Rams here. Los Angeles picked up its star defensive lineman's 2018 year on April 12. Expect the Rams to try and lock down a multi-year deal with Donald before that fifth season comes to a close.

No. 14 pick Kyle Fuller, Chicago Bears The team announced they are not picking up the cornerback's option.

No. 15 pick Ryan Shazier, Pittsburgh Steelers: The linebacker's option has been picked up by the team, according to multiple reports.

No. 16 pick Zack Martin, Dallas Cowboys: Martin, a two-time All-Pro, isn't going anywhere. The Cowboys extended their starting guard through 2018 on April 18.

No. 17 pick C.J. Mosley, Baltimore Ravens: The Ravens announced they've officially picked up Mosely's option. The announcement was no surprise as coach John Harbaugh said in March that he's "sure" Baltimore will pick up the option, adding, "I expect C.J. Mosley to be a Raven for many, many, many years."

No. 18 pick Calvin Pryor, New York Jets:The Jets have declined the safety's fifth-year option, per Rapoport.

No. 19 pick Ja'Wuan James, Miami Dolphins: The team officially picked up James' fifth-year option.

No. 20 pick Brandin Cooks, New Orleans Saints: Cooks was traded to the Patriots in March and the team has decided to exercise the 23-year-old wideout's fifth-year option.

No. 21 pick Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, Green Bay Packers: The free safety's option has been picked up by the Packers.

No. 22 pick Johnny Manziel, Cleveland Browns: One of Cleveland's most notable draft busts in its recent history -- that's saying more than something -- Manziel has been out of football since the end of the 2015 season and out of rehab multiple times. The quarterback is currently attempting a comeback and was even seen talking with Saints coach Sean Payton about a return to the pros, but being that his contract is void, there is no fifth-year -- or any year -- option to be exercised.

No. 23 pick Dee Ford, Kansas City Chiefs The Chiefs announced on May 1 that they picked up the defensive lineman's fifth-year option.

No. 24 pick Darqueze Dennard, Cincinnati Bengals: The team announced on April 28 they have exercised the cornerback's fifth-year option.

No. 25 pick Jason Verrett, Los Angeles Chargers: The Chargers announced on May 1 that they have picked up Verrett's fifth-year option.

No. 26 pick Marcus Smith, Philadelphia Eagles: The Philadelphia Inquirer reports the Eagles will not exercise their option on Smith, who has largely been a disappointment for Philadelphia.

No. 27 pick Deone Bucannon, Arizona Cardinals: Bucannon's agents announced on April 26 that the Cardinals exercised the linebacker's fifth-year option.

No. 28 pick Kelvin Benjamin, Carolina Panthers: General manager Dave Gettleman told reporters in March that Carolina intends to pick up Benjamin's fifth-year option. The team made it official on May 2. The move to keep Cam Netwon's top tall target in house will cost the Panthers roughly $8 million.

No. 29 pick Dominique Easley, New England Patriots: Easley was cut by the Patriots before the start of the 2016 season in a surprising move. He later signed with the Rams and was a tendered RFA in March.

No. 30 pick Jimmie Ward, San Francisco 49ers: San Francisco exercised Ward's fifth-year option, the team announced Monday.

No. 31 pick Bradley Roby, Denver Broncos: NFL Network's James Palmer reports the Broncos will exercise Roby's fifth-year option.

No. 32 pick Teddy Bridgewater, Minnesota Vikings: The Vikings will not exercise his fifth-year contract option, Rapoport reported, per a source informed of the situation.

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