Vikings Decline Mike Hughes’ 5th-Year Option

Predictably, the Minnesota Vikings have declined to pick up Mike Hughes‘ fifth-year option. The talented, but oft-injured corner is therefore heading into his final season under contract in Minnesota. Where does that leave things for both the player and the team?

Well, it’s disappointing but predictable news. Hughes has played three seasons in the NFL, meaning he has had the capacity to play in 48 games. He has only played in 24 games. During his rookie year, Hughes tore his ACL, and he has battled various injuries since then. He was one of the many injuries Zim’s defense had to navigate last season.

His career started on a high note, complete with a pick-six to help secure the victory against the 49ers. He has mostly struggled when healthy, though. The hope in Minnesota was that Mike Hughes would become the next strong Vikings corner, following Xavier Rhodes and Trae Waynes. He has never really lived up to these expectations.

To be clear, Hughes’ career isn’t over, and it’s entirely possible that he finally puts everything together and starts to become a really good player. We also should clarify that declining his fifth-year option doesn’t mean his career with the Vikings is necessarily over. If he plays well and stays healthy, Minnesota may end up being very interested in bringing him back. There’s a reason why he was chosen 30th overall, and he is still only 24.

Fans shouldn’t hold their breath, but the hope here is that Hughes can finally stay healthy and start being a meaningful contributor on game day.