New England Patriots: Danny Shelton upset not to have option picked up
By Nick Ziegler
Earlier this offseason, the New England Patriots declined the fifth-year option on Danny Shelton. Understandably, he was upset by not getting the option picked up.
One of the many moves the New England Patriots made this offseason was a trade in which they acquired defensive tackle Danny Shelton from the Cleveland Browns. Throughout the 2017 season, defensive tackle and stopping the run was an issue for the Patriots.
In the Super Bowl, the Eagles were able to run all over the Patriots, and fixing this was one of their priorities this offseason. The acquisition of Shelton should greatly improve the Patriots’ run defense, as the former first-round pick is a talented run stuffer.
According to Pro Football Focus, Shelton received a grade of 85.9 against the run last season, which ranked him in the Top 20 in that category for interior defenders. Coming from the Browns, Shelton is still on his rookie contract and as a first-round pick, that came with an option for a fifth year.
Unfortunately for Shelton, the Patriots elected not to pick up his fifth-year option, which would have paid him $7.5 million next season. Recently, Shelton talked about being disappointed that the Patriots didn’t pick it up. Here’s what he said via Zack Cox of NESN.com.
"“Obviously, it sucked at first,” the 24-year-old said. “But at the same time, you’ve got to think of it as an opportunity. And for me, I’m just grateful for the opportunity to be here for the year and to be able to just try my best to dominate and put myself out there and see what happens after that.”"
While Shelton is a good player, locking him in for 2019 at $7.5 million is a bit high. For Shelton, the Patriots declining his option will make him a free agent at the end of the next season, and give him a chance to earn even more.
Next: Ranking the 10 greatest quarterbacks in franchise history
If Shelton has a great season for the Patriots, he could turn it into a much larger contract as a free agent. The Patriots are taking a bit of a risk not picking the option on Shelton, but it appears to be the right move. Now, we will have to see what Shelton is able to do on the field to prove the Patriots right or wrong.