The Jacksonville Jaguars are mulling the decision of whether to pick up the fifth-year option on defensive end Dante Fowler.
General manager Dave Caldwell said the team has not made a decision as of yet at a pre-draft press conference. The Jaguars have until May 3 to exercise the option, which would trigger a $14.2 million salary for 2019.
The Florida Times-Union reported that the decision may hinge on whether Jacksonville selects an edge rusher in the upcoming 2018 NFL Draft.
"I thought he had a nice year [in 2017]," Caldwell said regarding Fowler. "He's 23 years old, only in his second year full-time playing. He made great strides; not only on the field but off the field, too."
Fowler recorded four sacks in 2016, doubled that total in 2017 and even had a pair in the Jaguars' AFC Championship Game loss to the New England Patriots. He also had 21 tackles last season.
The third overall pick of the 2015 NFL Draft, Fowler faces discipline from the league after pleading no contest to charges of battery, criminal mischief, and petty theft during an incident in a parking lot in July.
The Tampa Bay Times reported the incident began after a man complained to Fowler about his driving. It led to an argument, and Fowler subsequently hit the other man, stepped on his glasses and took the man's bag of groceries and threw it into a lake.
Fowler was sentenced to 12 months of probation, 75 hours of community service and more than $1,000 in fines.
Last March, Fowler was arrested for assault on a police officer, but charges were dropped when he entered an intervention program.