While the term "bust" can be debated, it cannot be argued that the career of former Green Bay Packers first-round pick Derek Sherrod has been a disappointment. The 32nd overall pick in the 2011 draft has seen extremely limited game action in his three years in the league, primarily due to a gruesome broken leg he suffered late in his rookie year.
It should come as no surprise then that the Packers reportedly will not be retaining him into next year:
Don't know if #Packers have informed Derek Sherrod of this yet, but they don't plan to pick up his fifth-year option. Deadline is tonight.— Rob Demovsky (@RobDemovsky) May 2, 2014
The 2011 draft was the first under the new Collective Bargaining Agreement, which instituted some new rules regarding the contracts for draft picks. Each draft pick had an approximate dollar value assigned to it, which helped to alleviate the inflation of rookie contracts and reduced holdouts. For all draft picks, those contracts were for four years, but first-round selections were given a team option for a fifth season at a substantial salary, and the decisions about that option needed to be made the offseason after the players' third seasons in the league. In the case of the 2011 draft class, that deadline is today.
Of course, Sherrod's play (or lack thereof) has not warranted a price tag of around $7 million for 2015, and the appears prudent to decline the option. According to NFL.com, twenty players in the 2011 first-round class have had their options picked up for the 2015 season as of the time of this publication, but Sherrod will not raise that number to 21.
Of course, Sherrod could still earn a spot in Green Bay for the 2015 season on the basis of his play in 2014. Barring some unexpected contract extension, he will be an unrestricted free agent after the 2014 season ends.