The Falcons acquired Jeff Okudah in a trade with the Lions, bolstering Atlanta’s secondary. When the acquisition was announced, I began to ponder the former first-round pick’s fifth-year option status.
I quickly came to the conclusion that no scenario made sense for the Falcons to exercise it; now, that notion has been cemented in light of some new information. Since the Lions agreed to pay $1.5 million of his 2023 salary, his option is off the table, according to Ian Rapoport.
With the fifth-year option deadline tomorrow, worth noting: New #Falcons CB Jeff Okudah is not eligible for it. When the #Lions agreed to pay $1.5M of his 2023 salary to facilitate the trade, his option was off the table. He has 1 year and $3.682M deal left with ATL.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) May 1, 2023
Committing that kind of money to a player that has struggled to stay on the field is an unnecessary gamble with minimal upside. The deal itself to acquire Okudah for a fifth-round pick is filled with upside, but picking up his option was never in the cards.
It’s a very low-risk, high-reward move from the Falcons.
Best case scenario: Okudah stays healthy, proves a change of scenery and coaching was the difference, and realizes his full potential. The Falcons found their long-term CB2, which only cost them a Day 3 draft pick.
Worst case scenario: Okudah deals with injuries, and the Falcons don’t get any production out of him, but it still only costs them that fifth-rounder.
Even though a fifth-year option is off the table, that doesn’t rule out a new deal next offseason. In the best case scenario, the Falcons will likely look to extend Jeff Okudah for several years. If not, the club will have a large void at cornerback that will have to be addressed immediately.
Photographer: Bailey Hillesheim/Icon Sportswire
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