Vikings exercise fifth-year option on Trae Waynes, now signed through 2019

(Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images) Trae Waynes
(Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images) Trae Waynes /

The fifth-year option on the rookie deal of Trae Waynes has been exercised, keeping the cornerback with the Minnesota Vikings through the 2019 NFL season.

The Minnesota Vikings have been making sure to keep their key defenders around. They have given massive contract extensions to Xavier Rhodes, Linval Joseph, Harrison Smith, and others to keep the top-ranked unit intact.

Minnesota took another step in keeping their defense together by announcing on their official website they have exercised the fifth-year option on the rookie contract of their former first-round selection at the 2015 NFL Draft: Trae Waynes.

Since Waynes was selected 11th overall in the draft, he doesn’t fall into the rule of determining his salary by finding the average of the top 10 salaries at his position, which is the equivalent of the NFL’s transition tag.

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  • Instead, the cornerback narrowly falls into the second category where the salaries of the 3rd and 25th highest salaries at the position are averaged according to the website Front Office NFL. That means Waynes’ deal will sit somewhere slightly above $9 million as confirmed by

    Locking Trae Waynes in for one more season not only allows the team to evaluate him for one more year but it also buys more time for Mackensie Alexander and 2018 draft selection Mike Hughes to develop in Mike Zimmer’s defense.

    During his three seasons in Minnesota, Waynes played in 46 games, starting 25 of those. He has accumulated 117 total tackles, 26 pass defenses, 5 interceptions, and 1 sack. Over that time, he has earned a reputation for being a great tackler against the run and a solid man-cover cornerback.

    Pairing Waynes with Xavier Rhodes has been a recipe for success in the secondary, as has partnering the tough coverage unit with a strong pass rush in Mike Zimmer’s defensive system. Ensuring key parts of that defense are around is key to keeping the Vikings playoff window wide open.

    Next: 15 best Vikings first round picks of all time

    Congratulations to Trae Waynes on signing his fifth-year option on his rookie deal and hopefully he and his Minnesota Vikings teammates can continue to strike fear into the hearts of opposing teams’ offenses.