The Miami Dolphins have exercised the fifth-year option on wide receiver DeVante Parker. The move locks Parker into an additional year on his original four-year rookie contract, paying him $9.4 million for the season. The deal is guaranteed against injury.
Parker accounts for a $3.5 million hit to the Dolphins’ salary cap this year.
Parker was the 14th overall pick in 2015, joining the Dolphins with the expectations that he would become the team’s “number one” receiver. He has struggled with consistency throughout his career, catching just 139 passes in three seasons for 1,908 yards with eight touchdown. He has shown the flashes that made the Dolphins want to select him with their first-round choice, but injuries have prevented him from becoming a great receiver for the team.
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 2018 is May 3. 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.
The Dolphins have the ability to pull the fifth-year option before the start of next year’s free agency period, freeing them from the salary cap hit while allowing Parker to hit free agency. Essentially, if Parker wants to see that $9.6 million, he is going to have to prove that he is worth it - consistently worth it - in 2018.