The initial pick in the 2018 New England Patriots draft class won’t be entering free agency next March.
New England exercised the fifth-year option in offensive tackle Isaiah Wynn’s contract prior to the league’s Monday deadline, as first reported by NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport.
Wynn, taken No. 23 overall, will be locked in for $10.413 million in 2022 as a result.
The Georgia Bulldogs product has appeared in 19 of a possible 52 games between his regular seasons and playoffs with the Patriots. But each of those 19 games has been a start for Wynn, who has held his own as a 6-foot-2, 310-pound left tackle when healthy.
The rookie campaign ended with a torn Achilles nine snaps into his exhibition debut. Toe and knee injuries later sent Wynn return to injured reserve during his second and third campaigns. Pro Football Focus charted Wynn for allowing just three sacks and four quarterback hits in pass protection last fall, however. His run-blocking grade sat 14th among NFL bookends.
“Isaiah is a good player, does a lot of things well,” Patriots head coach Bill Belichick said during a September video conference. “He’s a very athletic player with very good playing strength and leverage. He’s got good feet, he’s a smart kid and he really takes well to coaching and making adjustments and those kind of things.”
Wynn, who turned 25 in December, will carry a $2.040 million base salary and $3.640 million cap number for 2021. The option, now fully guaranteed as part of the latest collective bargaining agreement, will follow at a premium position.
Former Georgia teammate Sony Michel’s fifth-year option has been declined by the Patriots, according to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler. The running back would have garnered $4.523 million guaranteed for 2022.
Michel has started 30 games, including Super Bowl LIII, for the New England ground attack since arriving at No. 31 overall in 2018. He stands with 2,689 yards and 20 touchdowns on a combined 620 rushes.
The 5-foot-11, 215-pound Michel reeled in his first receiving touchdown this past season after spending time on injured reserve with a quad issue. In a complementary role between the tackles, he averaged a career-best 5.7 yards per carry over nine contests. Along the way were longs of 21 and 29 yards against the Buffalo Bills to go with longs of 38 and 48 yards against the Las Vegas Raiders.
Michel turned 26 in February. A base salary north of $1.79 million is scheduled in the final year of his rookie deal.
New England added depth to the offensive line and the backfield in the 2021 NFL draft. Oklahoma rusher Rhamondre Stevenson got the call in the fourth round at No. 120 overall, joining a committee that also features Damien Harris, James White, J.J. Taylor and Brandon Bolden. Colorado tackle William Sherman got the call in the sixth round at No. 197 overall, joining a bookend group that also features Trent Brown, Justin Herron, Korey Cunningham, Yodny Cajuste and the versatile Mike Onwenu.
A total of 21 prospects from the 2018 first round saw their options exercised leading up to the deadline.