Packers Pick Up Fifth Year Option for S Ha Ha Clinton-Dix

The Packers have chosen to exercise their fifth year option on safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix.

Though Clinton-Dix is entering just the fourth year of his now five year rookie contract, the Packers were obligated to make the move now due to a league imposed deadline.

Clinton-Dix was the 21st overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft. He made his first Pro Bowl after the 2016 season, a year in which he played every single defensive snap.

What is the fifth year option?

Starting in 2011, standard NFL rookie contracts have included language giving teams an option to extend their contracts into a fifth year. Former Packers executive Andrew Brandt fully explains the fifth year option here, but in short, it allows NFL teams to extend affordable rookie contracts in exchange for those contracts becoming fully guaranteed in the event of injury.

The Packers have made five first round picks in the fifth year option era, and Clinton-Dix is the only one whose fifth year option has been exercised.

The Packers declined the fifth year option on 2012 first round pick Nick Perry, but re-signed him to a one year contract anyway, then signed a longer term deal this offseason.

2013 first round pick Datone Jones also had his fifth year option declined, but did not ultimately re-sign with the Packers.

What happens now?

Now that the option has been picked up, both sides will probably wait a little while before beginning to work on a longer term deal for the young safety.

Given that Clinton-Dix is already in rare company among Packers defensive backs, his fifth year option will be much more affordable than whatever his long term extension turns out to be.

Looking further down the road, the Packers will have to decide on 2015 first round pick Damarious Randall's fifth year option next offseason, and if his recent performance is any indication, the Packers will probably decline his option in favor of a short term deal, as in the case of Nick Perry.