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Thursday, May 1, 2014
Prince Amukamara's option picked up

By Dan Graziano
ESPN.com

The New York Giants on Thursday exercised their 2015 contract option on cornerback Prince Amukamara, the team announced Thursday.

Prince Amukamara
Prince Amukamara has three interceptions in his career since being picked in the first round of the 2011 draft.

As a 2011 first-round draft pick, Amukamara is subject to new CBA rules which allows a team to exercise a fifth-year contract option on its first-round pick if it so chooses. The deadline for doing so is May 3 of the fourth year, so the Giants had to make this decision by Saturday. Because Amukamara was picked outside of the top 10, the price of the option is the average of the Nos. 3 through 25 highest-paid players at his position -- likely somewhere right around $7 million.

The option is also guaranteed only against injury, which means the Giants can cut him prior to the first day of the 2015 season if he's healthy and they don't want to pay him that much. In the meantime, they can work with him on a long-term contract extension if they so choose. The option salary would be fully guaranteed once the 2015 season begins.

Amukamara has performed generally pretty well for the Giants once he got past his rookie-year injury issues, but there had been some question about whether they'd pick up the option after they spent big on cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and also brought in Walter Thurmond on a one-year deal in free agency. But in the end, there was little reason not to pick up the option, which offers them cost certainty on Amukamara should they decide to keep him for 2015 but doesn't bind them to him if they decide, for example, that they want to invest in Thurmond instead.

The Giants took Amukamara with the No. 19 pick in the 2011 draft. He started all 16 games for them at cornerback in 2013 amid injury-related turmoil at the position. He has just three interceptions in his career so far, but he is regarded as a strong, willing run defender and a solid technician in coverage.