NFL teams pick up 5th-year options on Waddle, Rousseau, Darrisaw, Pitts and other 2021 1st-rounders

Receiver Jaylen Waddle, linebacker Jaelan Phillips, defensive end Gregory Rousseau, left tackle Christian Darrisaw and tight end Kyle Pitts were among the 2021 first-round draft picks whose fifth-year contract options were formally exercised Monday.

The Miami Dolphins picked up options on Waddle and Phillips. Selected sixth and 18th, respectively, Waddle and Phillips have become standout pieces on Miami's roster.

Waddle is the only player in franchise history with three consecutive 1,000-yard receiving seasons and the ninth in NFL history to surpass the 1,000-yard receiving mark in each of his first three seasons.

Phillips set a Dolphins rookie record with 8 1/2 sacks in 2021 and has had at least six in each of his first three seasons.

The Minnesota Vikings picked up the option on Darrisaw, who has started 39 games since being selected 23rd overall.

The Buffalo Bills did the same on Rousseau, who has 129 tackles and 17 sacks in 46 games since being chosen at No. 30.

And the Atlanta Falcons followed suit on Pitts, who has 149 receptions for 2,049 yards and six touchdowns since being taken fourth overall. He made the Pro Bowl as a rookie when he had 68 receptions for 1,026 yards, setting a franchise record for receiving yards by a first-year player.

Pitts sustained a season-ending knee injury after playing 10 games in 2022 and managed 53 catches for 667 yards and three touchdowns a season ago as the Falcons struggled to settle on a starting quarterback.

Atlanta is counting on Pitts’ production to pick up after the signing of Kirk Cousins to a $180 million deal and the drafting of Michael Penix Jr. with the No. 8 overall selection.

The Jacksonville Jaguars, meanwhile, exercised options on former Clemson teammates Trevor Lawrence and running back Travis Etienne. Lawrence was the overall top pick in the 2021 draft.

Teams have until Thursday to decide whether to keep those first-round picks for a fifth season. The list of those whose options already have been picked up includes Cincinnati receiver Ja'Marr Chase, Carolina cornerback Jaycee Horn, Denver cornerback Patrick Surtain, Dallas pass rusher Micah Parsons and New York Jets guard Alijah Vera-Tucker.