The Vikings picked up the fifth-year option in cornerback Trae Waynes’ contract, meaning he’s slated to be on the roster through at least 2019.
Waynes is expected to make north of $9 million, or nearly double the value of his original four-year rookie contract after being selected 11th overall in the 2015 NFL Draft.
The move was expected for the 25-year-old outside cornerback. It gives the Vikings an additional year to keep Waynes on the roster while potentially working out a long-term contract. Head coach Mike Zimmer praised Waynes’ progression in the middle of his third NFL season last fall.
“There was a lot of times earlier in the year I was helping him a lot,” Zimmer said. “I’m not doing that very much anymore. So, he’s been out there on his own, and I actually think that’s part of the reason why the defensive numbers have come down quite a bit. Because of the way these corners cover on the back end.”
The Vikings finished with the NFL’s second-best pass defense allowing 192.4 yards per game. Waynes had 11 pass deflections, two interceptions and a sack.