Over the past couple of weeks, there has been speculation as to whether the Cleveland Browns would pick up the 5th-year option on the rookie contract of NT Phil Taylor. With the deadline being on May 3 and many other NFL teams picking up the 5th-year option on their players, speculation began to grow that the Browns would pass on Taylor's option. The team announced on Friday that they have indeed picked up the option, though, which will keep Taylor under contract through the 2015 season:
I am humbled and honored the browns exercised the 5th year option on my contract. I truly hope to be in Cleveland my entire career!! #Browns— Phil Taylor (@PhilTaylor98) May 2, 2014
Taylor's fifth-year option in 2015 will reportedly be worth $5.477 million, which is a very reasonable figure for a player of Taylor's caliber. Coming out of the 2011 draft class, head coach Mike Pettine talked about what he saw from Taylor this week:
"It’s very evident to us watching on tape and seeing him in person this week that Phil Taylor is very explosive and he’s a great fit for what we want to do on defense. I like his ability to rush the passer and be there to clog up the middle at the point of attack when we need him."
Taylor was not used often enough in Ray Horton's defense, and it is unclear whether Pettine will use him as more of a workhorse. Taylor did say that he will be moved around more in this defense (perhaps seeing some defensive end), which he likes. Considering Ahtyba Rubin is a free agent after this season, it had to be a relative no-brainer to pick up Taylor's option another year for insurance purposes.
As for picking up a fifth-year option for their 2012 picks next year, the Browns won't have to worry about making that decision: both of their picks from that year, Trent Richardson and Brandon Weeden, are no longer with the club.