KUSA—As several teams have already decided to exercise, or decline, the fifth-year options on their first-round picks from the 2014 draft, the Denver Broncos have not yet committed on which way to go with Bradley Roby.
The deadline for exercising his $8.526 million fifth-year option is May 3.
Yes, that’s too much money for a No. 3 cornerback. Then again, A.J. Bouye was a No. 3 cornerback for the Houston Texans at this time last year – and for part of the 2016 season – and he just got a multiyear contract worth $13.5 million a year.
Even if the Broncos exercise the fifth-year option on Roby, it would only be guaranteed against injury. So if Roby didn’t have a good year in 2017, the Broncos wouldn’t have to pay him $8.526 million next year.
But if Roby does have another Roby-like season that $8.526 million figure would be used by his representatives as a jumping-off point toward a long-term deal.
Historically, the Broncos have been split on fifth-year options. They exercised their $9.754 million option on pass-rushing linebacker Von Miller in 2015, but declined to pay a $6.757 million salary on defensive tackle Sylvester Williams.
Roby is likely considered somewhere in between – not as good a player as Miller but better than Williams. After playing out his rookie contract with the Broncos last year, Williams became a free agent and received a three-year deal worth $5.83 million a year with Tennessee.
Roby would also give the Broncos cornerback protection for the 2018 season. The cornerback market has only advanced salaries through free agency in recent years.