Jaire Alexander's 5th-Year Contract Option Expected to Be Picked Up by Packers

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistApril 26, 2021

Green Bay Packers cornerback Jaire Alexander (23) reacts during an NFL divisional playoff football game between the Los Angeles Rams and Green Bay Packers, Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021, in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Jeffrey Phelps)
Jeffrey Phelps/Associated Press

Green Bay Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst confirmed Monday the team is likely to exercise the fifth-year option in Jaire Alexander's rookie contract.

If the two sides are unable to work out a long-term extension before then, the cornerback would earn $13.3 million in 2022 before becoming eligible for free agency.

Teams have until May 3 to trigger or decline the fifth-year option for players selected in the first round of the 2018 draft.

Nailing down Alexander's value over a multiyear deal is a little tough. 

The Louisville product was solid in his first two seasons and became a Pro Bowler in 2020, finishing with 51 tackles, 13 passes defended, one interception and one forced fumble.

Pro Football Focus' Sam Monson wrote in January that Alexander was one of the bigger snubs from the 2020 All-Pro team:

"Alexander didn't give up a catch longer than 32 yards all season long and allowed just 9.6 yards per catch, five full yards fewer than Xavien Howard in Miami. Jalen Ramsey had similar yardage numbers, but Alexander had more pass breakups (13 to eight) and allowed a lower passer rating when targeted than the Los Angeles Rams star (68.3 to 73.0)."

The 24-year-old played like an elite defensive back, and while he doesn't have a strong case to be the highest-paid cornerback in the league, he could feasibly be the highest-paid defender on the Packers. Defensive tackle Kenny Clark is currently setting the pace with a $17.5 million average salary.

The Packers have time to see what Alexander can deliver as a follow-up to his strong campaign, so they don't need to rush into a new contract. The danger there is that his price tag will only continue to climb if he once again performs at a Pro Bowl level in 2021.