The Jacksonville Jaguars made on decision already with a young player, but lost in the shuffle has been the fact that this offseason the team will also have to decide on the future of former Top 5 pick Dante Fowler, Jr. Fowler is entering his fourth season in a rough start to his NFL career, but the Jaguars have to decide if they want to pick up his fifth-year option or not right around draft time.
With the salary cap figure finally being set, it means that the fifth-year option prices are set and for Fowler that means as a defensive ends his price tag is set at $14.2 million in 2019. If the Jaguars decide to pick it up, it means if Fowler is injured in 2018 and can’t pass the physical or if he’s just on the roster at the start of the league year, he’s due $14.2 million guaranteed.
Personally for Fowler, I pass on the fifth-year option. He’s yet to show he can be a reliable full time starter and he just simply disappears for long stretches in games. He improved off his first season coming back from the torn ACL, but even last season he seemed to only play will in spurts and in bunches as a backup/package pass rusher. The decision is tricky because it has to be made this offseason and you don’t really know how much you’re going to get out of guys like Calais Campbell, Malik Jackson and Marcell Dareus, plus likely having to pay Yannick Ngakoue next offseason.