Why the Bengals will not pick up fifth-year option on Ogbuehi

CINCINNATI, OH - SEPTEMBER 25: Von Miller #58 of the Denver Broncos and Cedric Ogbuehi #70 of the Cincinnati Bengals congratulate each other after the game at Paul Brown Stadium on September 25, 2016 in Cincinnati, Ohio. Denver defeated Cincinnati 29-17. (Photo by John Grieshop/Getty Images)

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CINCINNATI, OH - SEPTEMBER 25: Von Miller #58 of the Denver Broncos and Cedric Ogbuehi #70 of the Cincinnati Bengals congratulate each other after the game at Paul Brown Stadium on September 25, 2016 in Cincinnati, Ohio. Denver defeated Cincinnati 29-17. (Photo by John Grieshop/Getty Images)

As has been speculated for the last year, the Cincinnati Bengals will not pick up the fifth-year option on 2015 first-round pick Cedric Ogbuehi, the NFL Network’s Mike Garafalo reported.

The deadline to pick up the option is Thursday.

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Ogbuehi has struggled since being inserted as the opening day starter in 2016 after missing most of his rookie season while rehabbing an ACL tear suffered in his final college game.

This will be the first time since the fifth-year option came into existence with the 2011 collective bargaining agreement that the Bengals have not exercised it.

Ogbuehi will make a base salary of $1.7 million this year. The fifth-year option would have paid him $9.6 million in 2019, so it’s easy to see why the Bengals are declining it for a tackle Pro Football Focus ranked 70th out of 81 qualifying players in 2017.

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Unless the team signs Ogbuehi to an extension, he will be an unrestricted free agent in March 2019.

The fifth-year option is only available for first-round picks. The Bengals exercised the option on A.J. Green for 2015, Dre Kirkpatrick and Kevin Zeitler for 2016, Tyler Eifert for 2017 and Darqueze Dennard for 2018.

Barring injury this year, it seems certain they will pick up the option for 2016 first-round pick William Jackson next spring.

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