Packers' Nick Perry now in a prove-it year

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Nick Perry will be in a prove-it-or-lose-it year for the Green Bay Packers.

As expected, the team declined to pick up the fifth-year option on his contract. The deadline was Sunday.

It means Perry, the Packers' first-round pick in 2012, will become a free agent after this season unless the Packers work out a contract extension before next March.

General manager Ted Thompson would not comment Saturday after the draft about Perry's status, but indications all along were that he would pass on Perry's option year.

The option year would have added the 2016 season to Perry's deal for $7.75 million. That figure would be guaranteed only for injury.

Perry has never been a regular starter. Injuries limited him to just five games as a rookie and 11 in his second season. Last season, however, he played in all but one game and totaled 4.5 sacks (including 1.5 in the playoffs). Still, he played only 34.6 percent of the defensive snaps, and there's no indication his role will increase significantly this season.

All first-round picks taken in 2011 or later signed four-year deals with a club option for a fifth year. It was a provision added to the collective bargaining agreement following the lockout after the 2010 season.

The Packers are two-for-two in declining options. They did not pick up the option on tackle Derek Sherrod last season. The 32nd overall in pick in 2011 was then released last November.