Today was the day that the 32 NFL teams needed to decide whether or not to exercise the fifth-year option on players they selected in the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft. We had mentioned that the Minnesota Vikings had made their decision a while back, but it became official today.
As expected, the Vikings will not be picking up the fifth-year option on cornerback Mike Hughes, meaning that he is now, officially, entering the final year of his rookie contract.
Hughes was selected with the 30th overall pick of the 2018 NFL Draft out of the University of Central Florida. He’s dealt with a lot of injury issues over the past three seasons, missing much of his rookie year after tearing an ACL and missing much of the 2020 season as well, appearing in just four games before going on injured reserve.
Hughes’ fifth-year option would have cost the Vikings a little over $9.5 million for the 2022 season, but that’s money they will not have to worry about spending.
With his fifth-year option getting passed over, Hughes is now entering a “prove it” final season with the Vikings, who have added to their cornerback room this offseason by signing Patrick Peterson and bringing back Mackensie Alexander. He’s going to have an opportunity to help in the secondary, but only if he can stay on the field. . .something that has given him a significant amount of problems thus far in his NFL career.