Packers won't pick up Sherrod's option year

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- This season may be Derek Sherrod's last to prove he can be an impact player for the Green Bay Packers.

The team does not plan to exercise the fifth-year option on his contract, according to an NFL source. That means the former first-round pick would become a free agent after this season.

Beginning in 2011, all first-round picks signed four-year contracts with a club option for a fifth year. The deadline for teams to exercise those options is Saturday and most already have done so.

Sherrod, the 32nd overall pick in the 2011 draft, has yet to start a regular-season game. He has not been able to compete for a starting spot since breaking his leg on Dec. 18, 2011. He missed all of the 2012 season and was not activated last year until Nov. 5. He played his only six snaps on offense last season in the final minutes of the Thanksgiving blowout loss at Detroit.

Given that option year for Sherrod is worth $7.438 million, it's not a surprise that the Packers will decline it even though that figure does not become fully guaranteed until next March. However, the fifth-year option is guaranteed if the player sustains an injury in 2014 that prevents him from playing in 2015.

The 6-foot-5, 321-pound Sherrod began the offseason as no better than the No. 3 tackle on the depth chart behind projected starters David Bakhtiari (left tackle) and Bryan Bulaga (right tackle).