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Cardinals Tied for 23rd in R1 5th Year Option Pct. (50%)

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Cleveland Browns v Arizona Cardinals Photo by Ralph Freso/Getty Images

Mike Sando of The Athletic wrote this excellent article wherein he charted team percentages over the past 10 years for picking up their 1st round picks’ 5th year options.

When I first saw the article, I thought the Cardinals would be right down at the bottom of the league in the 30s—- because of the 1st round defections of Jonathan Cooper (R1 2013), Robert Nkemdiche (2016), Haason Reddick (2017) and Josh Rosen (2018).

However, I was surprised to learn the Cardinals are tied for 23rd at 50%, having picked up the options of Patrick Peterson (R1 2011), Michael Floyd (2012), Deone Bucannon (2014) and D.J. Humphries (2017).

Note: had the Cardinals picked up Haason Reddick’s 5th year option, they would have jumped up to being tied for 12th in the NFL at 63%.

Mike Sando feels confident that the Cardinals will pick up the 5th year option of Kyler Murray (R1 2019). Maybe the Cardinals with regard to their last three 1st rounders (Murray, Isaiah Simmons and Zaven Collins) will be upping their percentages in the year ahead.

What’s fascinating is that the Rams are tied for 3rd at 88% (7/8 from 2011-2016, they had 8 1st round picks over that span) and yet because of recent trades the Rams have not had a 1st round pick since jared Goff in 2016 and don’t have another one until 2024.

The 49ers are tied with the Cardinals for 23rd at 50%. They picked up the options on 5 of their 10 1st round picks in years 2011-2018. But they just traded away their 2021 and 2020 1st round picks in order to draft Trey Lance.

At the far end of the spectrum is the Seattle Seahawks, 32nd in the NFL, at 0%. Here’s Sando’s commentary:

The fifth-year option era began one year after Seattle used first-round picks for Russell Okung and Earl Thomas. Seattle has traded first-round picks for Percy Harvin (2013 draft), Jimmy Graham (2015 draft) and Adams (2020 and 2021 drafts). The team traded out of the 2014 and 2017 first rounds altogether. While James Carpenter, Bruce Irvin and Germain Ifedi have combined to start 289 games, including 136 for Seattle, Rashaad Penny is the NFL’s only 2018 first-rounder without a start (every other first-rounder from that draft has at least seven).

With relatively little first-round production of late, Seattle ranks second to Dallas in starts from players it drafted in the second through seventh rounds since 2017.

NFC West 1st Rounders whose 5th year options were picked up —- who are still on their teams:


  • D.J. Humphries

Los Angeles:

  • Aaron Donald

San Francisco:

  • Jimmy Ward
  • Arik Armstead
  • Mike McGlinchey



NFC West Champions 2011-2020

  • Arizona: 1 (2015)
  • Los Angeles : 2 (2017, 2018)
  • San Francisco: 3 (2011, 2012, 2019)
  • Seattle: 4 (2013, 2014, 2016, 2020)

Super Bowl Appearances NFL West teams 2011-2020:

  • Los Angeles: 1 (2018) 0-1
  • San Francisco: 2 (2012, 2019) 0-2
  • Seattle: 2 (2013 Champions, 2014) 1-1

What does it mean, that the Seattle Seahawks, who have won more NFC West and Super Bowl titles over the past ten years than any of their rivals, have not once picked up a 5th year tender on any of their 6 1st round pick over that span, with 2 still to be decided in L.J. Collier (2019) and Jordyn Brooks (2020)?

Do you think that trading away 1st round picks like the Rams, 49ers and Seahawks have done over the past few years has been a good strategy for them?