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Rivera: Commanders undecided on Young's 5th-year option

Thearon W. Henderson / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Washington Commanders head coach Ron Rivera said Wednesday that the team hasn't decided whether it'll pick up defensive end Chase Young's fifth-year option, according to The Washington Post's Nicki Jhabvala.

Rivera said he and the team need to discuss Young's health and development before making a final decision prior to the May 1 deadline. Young's option will cost just under $17.5 million, per Spotrac's projections. The option becomes fully guaranteed once exercised.

Young totaled seven-and-a-half sacks on his way to winning Defensive Rookie of the Year honors in his debut campaign, but the pass-rusher has struggled to stay on the field the last two seasons. Young has only played in 12 of a possible 34 regular-season games since he tore his ACL in November 2021.

"Most certainly," Rivera said when asked if not exercising the option could be used as a motivator. "If you look at what (defensive lineman Daron Payne) did, why wouldn't you think of it that way? Believe me, that would be my approach."

The Commanders picked up Payne's option last season but didn't sign him to a long-term extension. Payne went on to make the Pro Bowl with 11.5 sacks and 18 tackles for loss this season.

Young, 23, was selected with the No. 2 pick in the 2020 NFL Draft after a standout career at Ohio State. He accumulated 30.5 sacks and 40.5 tackles for loss for the Buckeyes, including 16.5 sacks and 21 tackles for loss in his final season with the team.

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