Unfortunately, Vikings are no stranger to declining fifth-year options

(Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images) Garrett Bradbury
(Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images) Garrett Bradbury /

The Minnesota Vikings recently declined the fifth-year option on center Garrett Bradbury, a position the team has found itself in more often than not.

Garrett Bradbury’s future with the Minnesota Vikings was brought into question when the team recently announced it would decline the fifth-year option for the center out of North Carolina State. The 2019 first-round pick, selected by former Vikings general manager Rick Spielman, Bradbury finds himself in a “prove-it” type of year with hopes that a new deal will be offered to him in the 2023 offseason.

For Minnesota, declining a fifth-year option for a former first-round pick is nothing new. In fact, every first-round selection made by the Vikings since 2016 has seen their fifth-year option declined. The No. 11 overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft, Trae Waynes, is the last player to have their fifth-year option exercised by Minnesota.

Introduced in 2012 under the new CBA, the Vikings have exercised fifth-year options for players such as Xavier Rhodes, Harrison Smith and Anthony Barr, who all went on to sign multi-year extensions with the team as well.

What having a fifth-year option declined by the Minnesota Vikings means for Garrett Bradbury

Bradbury could rewrite the narrative of his tenure with the Vikings by going all out in the 2022 season, but he finds himself in a less than favorable light as far as being a member of the team goes.

In addition to declining player options for former first-round picks since 2016, the team has also not re-signed any of these former first-round picks either.

Even Waynes was free to walk in 2020, and he landed with the Cincinnati Bengals. Unfortunately for him, the Bengals decided to move on from him this offseason, and he is currently still without an NFL team.

A decline of the fifth-year option, an uncertain future, and a clamoring for J.C. Tretter from the fan base could make Bradbury another product of a trend that has impacted almost every post-2015 first-round pick of the Vikings.

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