— Miami Dolphins (@MiamiDolphins) April 29, 2014
The Miami Dolphins today announced they had officially exercised the fifth-year option on center Mike Pouncey, keeping him under contract through the 2015 season. Under the league's collective bargaining agreement, first round draft picks have a team option in their four-year contract, allowing for an additional fifth year to be added to the deal. That option must be exercised after the third year of the contract.
In Pouncey's case, the option had to be used by May 3. The amount of money, in Pouncey's case around $7 million for that fifth year, to be paid is determined on where the player was originally drafted. Players selected with the first ten picks receive the transition tag number from their fourth year, while players 11-32 receive the average of the top 25 contracts at their respective positions, excluding the top three deals. The contracts are guaranteed against injury, meaning if Pouncey were to suffer a career ending injury today, he would receive the option's salary - however the Dolphins can cut him for any other reason without owing him the money.
Next year, the Dolphins will have to make a similar decision for quarterback Ryan Tannehill's fifth year, with a salary expected to be around $15 million for the year. In 2016, the Dolphins will be considering use of the fifth-year option on defensive end Dion Jordan.
Pouncey was named to his first Pro Bowl this past season, but was also named as one of the players who harassed tackle Jonathan Martin when the Ted Wells report was released in February. The NFL has not decided if any punishment will be levied against Pouncey, or former Dolphins guards Richie Incognito and John Jerry.