The New England Patriots will likely decline one fifth-year option and pick up another on their 2018 first-round draft class.
NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Monday that the Pats will likely decline the option year for running back Sony Michel while exercising the option for offensive tackle Isaiah Wynn, per sources informed of the situation.
Neither move comes as much of a surprise.
Monday marked the deadline for clubs to make a decision on fifth-year options for 2018 first-round draft picks.
Michel, the No. 31 overall pick in 2018, was due to earn $4.523 million in 2022 had the Pats picked up the option. The running back has a base salary of $1.79 million in 2021.
The Georgia product has complied 2,292 yards on 535 carries with 14 rushing TDs in his three years in New England. Injuries, however, began to rear their head in 2020. Michel played in just nine games, starting six, and toted the rock just 79 times last season for 449 yards and one TD. The down season came after he generated 900-plus yards each of his first two years in Foxborough.
Given the position he plays, injury history, and that Michel is little-used in the passing game, Bill Belichick not guaranteeing $4.5 million in 2022 for the RB is not a stunner. The 26-year-old back will head into a contract year muddled in a backfield committee with re-signed James White, 2019 third-round pick Damien Harris and 2021 fourth-rounder Rhamondre Stevenson.
The Pats picking up the option on Wynn was also expected.
The 2022 price tag for the No. 23 overall pick in 2018 comes in at $10.413 million. Wynn is set to make $2.04 million in base salary this season.
The 25-year-old blind-side blocker missed his entire rookie season after suffering an Achilles injury in the preseason. He started 18 games the past two years, missing 14 due to injury. Wynn finished the 2020 season on IR with a knee injury. When healthy, the 310-pound blocker can move defenders and shield the passer. He's a top-tier tackle in the NFL when on the field. His biggest issue has been staying healthy.
Guaranteeing $10-plus million for a player who has missed 30 games in his career is hefty, but when looking at the left-tackle market, Wynn won't even be in the top 10 of earners at his position.
Exercising the option gives the Pats two more years with Wynn before deciding on this long-term future, including a potential extension.