The New England Patriots soon will have to decide if they plan to keep running back Sony Michel and offensive lineman Isaiah Wynn around in 2022.
NFL teams have until May 3 to exercise fifth-year options on 2018 first-round picks. Since Wynn (the 23rd overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft) and Michel (the 31st overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft) each did not make any Pro Bowls, play a minimum of 75 percent of offensive regular-season snaps in two of their first three seasons, play a cumulative average of at least 75 percent of offensive regular-season snaps over their first three seasons or play a minimum of 50 percent of offensive regular-season snaps in each of their first three seasons, they will earn minimum fifth-year option salaries for their position groups which are $4.523 million for Michel and $10.413 million for Wynn. Those salaries would be fully guaranteed under the new collective bargaining agreement.
Wynn did not play his rookie season because of a torn Achilles. He was on the field for 43.6 percent of regular-season offensive snaps in 2019 and 63.3 percent of regular-season snaps in 2020. Cumulatively, he’s played 34.8 percent of regular-season snaps in his first three seasons in the NFL.
Michel played 28.6 percent of regular-season offensive snaps in 2018, 36.6 percent in 2019 and 17.9 percent in 2020. Cumulatively, he’s been on the field for 28.1 percent of regular-season offensive snaps.
Michel would be paid like a top-20 running back if the Patriots picked up his fifth-year option while Wynn would be paid like a top-40 offensive lineman and top-20 left tackle if New England picked up his fifth-year option.
The Patriots acquired offensive tackle Trent Brown in a trade with the Las Vegas Raiders on Tuesday, and that could force Wynn to move to guard or right tackle. Wynn would be less of a value at $10.4 million if Brown bumped him out of the left tackle spot.
Ultimately, the Patriots are probably more likely to pick up Wynn’s option, though neither player is a certainty to stick around in 2022.