The Miami Dolphins have exercised their fifth-year option on right tackle Ja’Wuan James, keeping him with the team through 2018. Miami had until Tuesday to make a decision on using the option, which keeps James on his rookie contract through another season, with a salary around $8 million for that 2018 year.
The salary is injury guaranteed.
James was the Dolphins’ first-round pick in 2014, selecting him with the 19th overall choice. He has started 39 games in his first three seasons, including all 16 games last year. He missed nine games in 2015 due to a toe injury. As a rookie, James started the season as the team’s right tackle, but was forced into playing left tackle due to injuries to the offensive line. Since then, however, he has found his home as the team’s right tackle and continues to develop at the NFL level.
The fifth-year option is a part of the 2011 collective bargaining agreement between the NFL and the NFL Players Association. It is only available for a team on a first-round draft choice, and has to be exercised prior to the fourth year on a player’s rookie contract. The deadline for exercising that option in 2017 is May 2. The salary for the option is calculated based on where a player was selected - top ten picks receive a salary equal to the average of the top ten paid players at their position while the rest of the first-round selections receive a salary equal to the average of the third through 25th players at their position.