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Packers exercise 5th-year option on Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, per report

Despite waiting until after the draft, the Packers had no intention of passing on Clinton-Dix's fifth-year option.

Green Bay Packers v Minnesota Vikings Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

With a deadline looming, the Green Bay Packers have made an obvious call. According to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, the team has exercised the fifth-year option on safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix.

The Packers had until Tuesday to officially accept or decline the 2018 option in Clinton-Dix's contract. Last season, Clinton-Dix recorded a career-high five interceptions and seven pass breakups on his way to becoming the first Packers safety since Nick Collins to earn a trip to the Pro Bowl. At only 24, Clinton-Dix could continue to improve over the next few seasons. As such, exercising his fifth-year option seemed a mere formality rather than a difficult decision.

Since the implementation of the current collective bargaining agreement in 2011, the rookie contracts for first-round picks include four years and a fifth-year option. That additional season, while more lucrative than the previous four, still offers considerable value at positions of scarcity. True "centerfielders" like Clinton-Dix have become hard to find, and with more NFL teams utilizing Cover 1 and 3 as their primary coverages, they have become indispensable.

With the fifth-year option settled, the Packers can turn their attention to other players set to hit free agency next offseason. The list of extension candidates includes the team's other starting safety, Morgan Burnett, as well as wide receiver Davante Adams and starting center Corey Linsley.