The Denver Broncos selected defensive tackle Sylvester Williams with the No. 28 pick in the 2013 NFL Draft. As a first rounder, the team has the prerogative to exercise a fifth-year option on his rookie contract.
Guys like Von Miller and Demaryius Thomas had their fifth-year option picked up by the Broncos. However, these are players elite at their position. As for the big defensive tackle, the team has reportedly decided not to follow suit.
It's a value decision. They like Williams. He really came into his own in 2015, holding down the nose guard position in Wade Phillips' attacking, one-gapping system. But is he worth almost $7 million for 2017?
The answer is no.
If the Broncos picked up his fifth-year option, the slotted number would be $6.75 million on the 2017 salary cap. The best and most productive 3-4 nose guards in the NFL, guys like Brandon Mebane and Vince Wilfork, make around $5.5 million per year.
Williams is good, but he's not worth paying him like he's the best at his position in the NFL, even for just one year. It also doesn't mean the Broncos don't want him back.
It simply means that they'll either have to work out an early contract extension, negotiating a number that's more in line with his value, or let him hit the open market in March of 2017 and compete with the other 31 teams for his services.
Either way, Williams is now in a contract year. Here's to hoping he makes the most of it.
Chad Jensen is the Publisher of Mile High Huddle. You can find him on Twitter @ChadNJensen.
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