With tomorrow being the deadline for NFL teams to pick up the fifth-year option on their 2020 first-round draft picks, two of Miami’s players are expected to have their options declined. (Yes, water is also wet!)
According to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero, the Dolphins will not pick up the fifth-year options on cornerback Noah Igbinoghene and offensive lineman Austin Jackson — which isn’t necessarily ground-breaking news for most Dolphins fans.
The #Dolphins are not expected to exercise the fifth-year option on their 2020 first-round picks, OL Austin Jackson and CB Noah Igbinoghene.— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) May 2, 2023
Barring a late surprise, just 12 of 32 options will be picked up, plus one player (Jordan Love) extended.
Jackson, 23, was drafted with the 18th overall pick in the 2020 NFL draft. The former USC Trojan started 30 of 32 games for the Dolphins, playing all over Miami’s offensive line, including starts at left guard, left tackle, and right tackle. Unfortunately, Jackson has been a liability during his time with Miami and, barring a massive improvement in 2023, will be a free agent next offseason. Can Jackson prove to be the missing piece on Miami’s offensive line? Unlikely, but stranger things have happened.
Cornerback Noah Igbinoghene is in a similar situation. The 23-year-old cornerback appeared in 35 games (5 starts) for the Dolphins, combining for 29 tackles, five pass breakups, and a game-sealing interception vs. the Pittsburgh Steelers a season ago. Like Jackson, Igbinoghene would need to have a massive turnaround in 2023 to be on Miami’s roster this time next season. Unfortunately for Igbinoghene, he’s facing an even steeper climb to the top.
Not only did the Dolphins trade for shutdown cornerback Jalen Ramsey, but they used the 51st-overall pick in this year’s draft to take cornerback Cam Smith out of South Carolina. For now, all signs point to Jackson and Igbinoghene becoming free agents at the ripe age of 24.
Fifth-year option totals for 2020 first-round picks have been distributed to teams. Here are the numbers for the four different categories—deadline to pick up the options is the week after the draft. pic.twitter.com/T0r91eEUvl— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) February 7, 2023
However, it wasn’t all bad news for Miami’s 2020 first-round draft picks. Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa was one of the first players to have his option activated earlier this offseason, and if he can stay healthy, Miami’s QB1 should have a long-term deal inked sooner rather than later.
What are your thoughts on the latest news that the Miami Dolphins won’t be picking up Noah Igbinoghene’s fifth-year option? How about Austin Jackson? Which of these players could turn things around in 2023 and potentially stick on the roster? Let us know in the comments section below!