The Detroit Lions are one of just a few teams that still have not announcer their decision regarding the fifth-year option of 2017 first-round picks. By Monday, the Lions must decide whether to exercise Jarrad Davis’ fifth-year option—worth just over $10 million, guaranteed only for injury—for the 2021 season. Exercise it, and Davis will be locked up for one more season. Decline it, and Davis will enter the 2020 season on the final year of his rookie deal.
We asked Lions fans what they would do back in March, and only 28 percent of fans believed the Lions should exercise the option. However, times change and a lot has happened since we posted the poll. The Lions didn’t do much to address the linebacker position this offseason. Though they added Jamie Collins Sr. and Reggie Ragland in free agency, they didn’t draft a linebacker and don’t have a clear succession plan in place if they were to let Davis walk next year.
So let’s post the question again:
Should the Lions pick up Jarrad Davis’ fifth-year option?
My answer: Still, no.
This coaching staff has made it no secret that they like Davis a lot. And maybe the addition of a veteran like Collins helps him finally make the strides fans and coaches have been waiting for.
But the hard reality is that Davis’ play has not warranted a contract worth $10 million. Sure, the Lions could exercise the option and then decide to cut him before the start of the new league year—much like they did with Eric Ebron—and not incur any dead money. But if he improves, you’re suddenly on the hook for $10 million.
I think it would make more sense to let 2020 be a contract year, and if he plays relatively well, you could sign him to a mid-level deal that shouldn’t be as rich as $10 million a year.
There’s little risk in exercising the option, so I’m not going to be sweating it if they do it, but I think it makes more sense to put the pressure on Davis this year.
Should the Lions exercise Jarrad Davis’ 5th year option?
This poll is closed