The Rams have officially exercised Robert Quinn’s fifth-year option for 2015, which will pay him $6.969 million.
Considering Quinn is coming off an All-Pro season in which he easily qualified as a top-three defensive end, that option is a bargain for the Rams. And remember, he’s not even done with his rookie contract, as Quinn will make a bargain basement sum of $1.66 million this season before the option kicks in.
All in all…
A jip for Quinn, considering what his market value would be RT @jthom1: Quinn will make $6.9 million in 2015
— ryan van bibber (@justRVB) April 28, 2014
You might have considered my headline hyperbolic at first, but think about it. Thanks to the incredibly team-friendly/player-unfriendly 2011 CBA, first round picks not only make drastically less on their initial contracts, they also remain under club control for a fifth year if the team so chooses.
Players selected among the top 10 picks of the draft draw a fifth-year salary equal to the average of what the top 10 highest paid players at his respective position makes. For players selected 11-32, the decision is even easier for teams, as the player draws a fifth-year salary equal to the average of the fourth-through-25th highest paid players at his respective position.
Now, it should be mentioned that first-rounders have their contracts fully guaranteed for four years, with their salary corresponding to what slot they were drafted, albeit at a pretty modest salary (here’s a good primer on the rookie salary pool). For teams like the Minnesota Vikings, they can make the easy decision to cut bait with Christian Ponder while teams like the Rams and the Houston Texans can make the absurdly easy decision to exercise the fifth-year option on their respective stud defensive ends, Quinn and J.J. Watt, at a price far below what they would fetch on the open market.
Quinn’s salary is fully guaranteed for injury until the first day of the 2015 league season (probably some time in early March 2015), at which time the salary becomes fully guaranteed. Only after his 2015 season does Quinn finally get to cash in with a lucrative extension, assuming his performance doesn’t drastically decline.
To put this in perspective, Quinn’s rookie contract ($9.4 million) and fifth-year option ($6.9 million) add up to $16.3 million – or nearly $8 million less than Sam Bradford’s $24 million signing bonus – his signing bonus – for his rookie contract, which was signed in 2010, one year before the new CBA was negotiated.