Not that he’s going anywhere in 2023, but the Detroit Lions now know what it’ll cost to pick up cornerback Jeff Okudah’s fifth-year option.
As the third overall pick in the 2020 draft, the Detroit Lions have a decision to make on the fifth-year option for cornerback Jeff Okudah between now and May 1.
After the season, Lions general manager Brad Holmes acknowledged how little Okudah has played after his first two seasons were impacted or almost totally lost to injury. Which somewhat complicates the decision on his fifth-year option.
"He’s kind of really getting extensive action for the first time. And he showed some good things, but when I say, ‘basically like a rookie season,’ he’s gonna have lumps,” Holmes said. “He showed some good. He had some things that were not so good. But he’s a really young player. I think he’s still developing.”I know fifth-year option, all that stuff … is coming up. We’ll address that at the appropriate time,” Holmes said. “But I’m proud of what Jeff did and I know he’ll hold himself accountable for his play, of the good things and the things he needs to work on.”"
Cost of Jeff Okudah’s fifth-year option released by NFL
Via Albert Breer of SI.com, the NFL released the salary amounts for 2024 fifth-year options on 2020 first-round picks on Tuesday. The amounts are determined by Pro Bowl selections or a minimum snap participation rate over a player’s first three seasons.
With no Pro Bowl selections on his resume, Okudah falls to Tier 3 right away.
"Tier 3 consists of players who played at least 75% in two of their first three seasons, those who averaged at least a 75% snap share through three seasons or those who crossed the 50% snap barrier in each of their initial three slates."
Okudah played a total of 508 defensive snaps over his first two seasons, so he’s nowhere close to a Tier 3 fifth-year option salary. The final tier is for those, like Okudah, who don’t meet any of the other criteria.
So Okudah’s fifth-year option will cost the Lions $11. 51 million in 2024.
If the Lions pick up that option and later cut Okudah, they would take that in full as a salary cap hit since it’s fully guaranteed. Trading him would be an option, taking the guaranteed money with him, as we saw when the Lions traded tight end T.J. Hockenson at this year’s trade deadline after picking up his fifth-year option last offseason.
Okudah will almost surely be on the Lions’ roster next season, at least heading into it. But there’s a chance he’s the third or fourth cornerback by the time free agency and the draft are over, with the deadline to pick up the option right after the draft.