The Green Bay Packers‘ decision about the fifth-year option couldn’t be easier this offseason.
Jaire Alexander is under contract until the end of the 2021 season, but as he was a first-round pick, the Packers can exercise his fifth-year option to ensure he’s under contract for an additional year.
The Packers would need to make that decision this offseason, but in reality it’s one they likely made three years ago.
It was evident early on that Alexander was going to be a star. He impressed in his first season with the Packers and made the PFWA All-Rookie Team. Alexander has improved each season and in 2020 made his first Pro Bowl and was named a second-team All-Pro.
In three seasons, Alexander has made 41 pass defenses, four interceptions, and forced two fumbles.
The benefit of the fifth-year option for Green Bay is that it gives the team a little longer to work out a contract extension. Alexander will receiver a big contract extension at some point in the near future, but the option gives the team a little more flexibility.
Instead of Alexander hitting free agency in 2022, it would instead move to 2023, giving the Packers some extra time to work out an extension.
Two years ago, the team exercised Kenny Clark’s fifth-year option. It gave the team an extra year to work out an extension, and last August he signed a new four-year deal worth $70 million.
Alexander is going to be an important part of Joe Barry’s defense for a long time to come. Brian Gutekunst’s first draft pick is arguably his best (Elgton Jenkins is also in the conversation) and he’s a player Barry can build his defense around.
This offseason, the Packers will need to decide whether to exercise Alexander’s fifth-year option. But I think we all know what their decision will be.