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Vikings not expected to pick up fifth-year option on Mike Hughes

Not terribly surprising

San Francisco 49ers v Minnesota Vikings Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

In addition to approaching the 2021 NFL Draft, we are quickly coming to the point where the Minnesota Vikings (and 31 other teams that don’t matter as much) need to make a decision about whether or not to pick up the fifth-year option on their first-round picks from the 2018 NFL Draft. According to Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press, the Vikings have already come to a conclusion.

Tomasson says that the Vikings are not expected to pick up the fifth-year option on their 2018 first-round pick, cornerback Mike Hughes. The option would cost the Vikings about $9.7 million but would only become fully guaranteed in the event that Hughes was injured to the point where he couldn’t pass a physical by the start of the 2022 league year. While this news is coming out now, they have until early May to make their choice official.

Injuries have been the biggest part of the issue for Hughes in his career. Things got off to a nice start for him with a pick-six in his first NFL game against the San Francisco 49ers at U.S. Bank Stadium, but hasn’t really been great since. He played just six games in his rookie season before tearing an ACL, and he played just four games this past season. He managed to play 14 games in 2019 but missed the postseason because of a neck injury.

With the Vikings not expected to pick up Hughes’ fifth-year option, he’s entering the final year of his rookie contract and is facing a “prove it” year in 2021. If Hughes plays up to his potential and can actually stay on the field, he may be able to pick up a decent second contract for himself, whether it’s with the Vikings or with someone else. For now, however, you can’t blame the Vikings for making this choice if this is, ultimately, the conclusion they’ve come to.