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Jets to pick up fifth year option for Leonard Williams

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Los Angeles Chargers v New York Jets Photo by Ed Mulholland/Getty Images

It hardly comes as a surprise, but Manish Mehta reports the Jets will exercise their fifth year option on defensive lineman Leonard Williams.

As a first round pick, Williams received a four year contract. The Jets own a team option on the fifth year. They must choose to execute it before the player’s fourth season. The deadline for 2015 first round picks is May 3. As a top ten pick, Williams’ fifth year salary will be an average of the top ten salaries at his position.

There is very little risk in extending the option. None of the money is guaranteed until the player’s fifth year unless he suffers a catastrophic injury. Teams can cut the player before his fifth year and have no dead money.

With that in mind, it makes sense to pick up the option for almost any pick. The only situations where it wouldn’t make sense to pick it up would be:

A. when the player is so bad that the team has already given up on him.

B. when the team wants to motivate an underachieving player.

C. the player is such an injury risk that the team has reason to believe he will suffer a catastrophic injury....

...or in the case of former Jets first round pick Dee Milliner, all three.

This was an obvious move for the Jets and perhaps a precursor to a longer term deal.