In just three days, the Minnesota Vikings (and 31 teams that don’t matter quite as much) will begin selecting their 2018 draft classes. In one week and three days, the purple will have to make a big decision on their first-round choice in the 2015 NFL Draft.
Most observers believe the #Vikings will pick up CB Trae Waynes' fifth-year option for 2019 for $9.069 million by the May 3 deadline. Waynes was taken with the No. 11 pick in the 2015 draft. Had he been selected one pick earlier, his option would be worth $12.353 million.— Chris Tomasson (@christomasson) April 23, 2018
According to Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press, the Vikings are expected to pick up the fifth-year option on cornerback Trae Waynes. As you can see from Tomasson’s tweet above, the option year will cost the Vikings just a shade over $9 million.
Waynes was taken with the 11th overall pick in the 2015 Draft out of Michigan State, and though he got off to a bit of a rough start in his Vikings’ career, he’s developed quite nicely as an above-average complement to Xavier Rhodes as the team’s outside corners.
It’s important to remember that Waynes’ fifth-year option is only fully guaranteed if he suffers an injury bad enough to prevent him from passing a physical by the start of the new league year. The Vikings just went through such a situation with defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd, who had his option picked up before the start of the 2016 season and could not play in 2017.
The team has until 3 May to make the final decision on picking up Waynes’ option.
Why the price discrepancy based on where Waynes was selected? Well, when it comes to the calculation of the salary for a fifth-year option, being a top ten pick in a particular draft class entitles you to the same salary as the top ten players in the league at your position (or, to simplify it, the transition tag number). For players in the rest of the first round, the figure comes from the average salary of the #3 through #25 highest-paid players at your position. That’s why, as the #11 pick, Waynes’ option year is worth nearly $3.5 million less than it would have been had he gone in the top 10 in the 2015 NFL Draft.
It’s not really any sort of surprise that the Vikings will be picking up the fifth-year option for Trae Waynes. Now let’s hope that he continues developing on the same track he has been over his first few seasons.