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Jacksonville Jaguars

Projecting Future Extensions for the Jaguars’ Budding Stars

Christopher Thornton

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Jan 21, 2018; Foxborough, MA, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars defensive end Yannick Ngakoue (91) takes the field before the AFC Championship Game against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

**All Cap figures and projections based on current NFL salary cap. As the cap rises, expect these deals to increase in relation to the increased cap**

 

Last season, the Jaguars were able to do something they hadn’t previously been able to do in some time: Extend a draft pick beyond the rookie deal.

Last offseason, just before training camp, the Jaguars announced the extension of center Brandon Linder. Linder inked a five-year, $51 million deal, making him one of the highest paid interior offensive linemen in the entire league. Up to this point, most players of value for the Jaguars were either free agent signings or never were value enough to be handed a big money extension. After suffering several seasons of poor drafting and free agencies, general manager Dave Caldwell was finally able to extend one of his own. Brandon Linder wouldn’t be the only Jaguar from the 2014 draft class to get extended. In the middle of the season, the Jaguars extended classmate, Telvin Smith, on a four-year, $45 million extension. Some other notable names to get nice contracts and stay in Jacksonville are WR Marqise Lee (four-year, $34 million) and QB Blake Bortles (three-year, $54 million).

Now, general manager Dave Caldwell is faced with another task in deciding who, and how much, to extend. Specifically? The Jaguars’ 2016 draft class. Here we look over what contract details members of the 2016 draft class could be expected to receive via an extension.

The best cornerback in the NFL, Jalen Ramsey

Jan 7, 2018; Jacksonville, FL, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey (20) reacts after an interception during the fourth quarter against the Buffalo Bills in the AFC Wild Card playoff football game at EverBank Field. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Jalen Ramsey, now going into only his third season, is in line for a major payday. Some believe that Ramsey could very well be the NFL’s first $100 million cornerbacks and deservedly so. Ramsey has cemented himself as a top-five cornerback in the NFL and at only 23 years old, has plenty of tread on the tires and even more room to grow and get better, which is a terrifying thought for opposing offenses. The Jaguars and Ramsey will soon be permitted to begin extension talks this season, and locking him up (like he locks up opposing receivers) should be their #1 priority.

Currently, the highest paid cornerback in the NFL is CB Josh Norman of the Washington Redskins with a total value of $75,000,000 over five years (per Overthecap.com) and earning him an average of $15,000,000 a year. Norman also leads all CB’s in total guarantees on his deal as well as average guaranteed per year. As it stands right now, Norman’s contract is the pinnacle of CB contracts in the NFL and likely the number to beat for Ramsey. Norman was 29 when he inked the deal with the Redskins, which immediately, in my opinion, gives Ramsey the upper hand in negotiations as he will only be 24 by the time an extension is likely ironed out.

Ramsey’s projected contract: Five-years, $90 Million with $47.5 million in guarantees

Barring any other major cornerback extensions to inflate the numbers, the projected deal makes Ramsey the highest paid CB in the following categories:

  • Total value
  • Average/Yearly
  • Total guarantees

Ramsey, viewed as the best cornerback in the game, is paid as best by a slightly large margin, making $15 million more than the current highest paid at his position.

 

The man who wasn’t down, Myles Jack

Jan 14, 2018; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars outside linebacker Myles Jack (44) celebrates on the field against the Pittsburgh Steelers in the AFC Divisional Playoff game at Heinz Field. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Deciphering this one is a little tricky because, for most of his tenure in Jacksonville, Myles Jack hasn’t been a focal point of the linebacker corps. Myles was drafted to a Jaguars defense that already boasted LB’s Telvin Smith and Paul Posluszny who were starters along with Jack. In Jack’s rookie season, he was hardly utilized in former HC Gus Bradley’s defensive scheme but showed promising flashes when he did have a chance to take the field.

In the 2017 season, Myles Jack took over most of the starting MLB reps over veteran LB Paul Posluszny. Though this wasn’t immediately overnight, by the end of the season, Jack and Smith were the LB’s of the future for the Jaguars, and the ceiling couldn’t be higher for the duo. Smith has already shown to the league what he is capable of, whereas Jack still has some growing to do. Coming into the NFL, Jack was viewed as a possible top-five pick before falling to the second round due to knee concerns. When the two sides eventually sit down to discuss this new deal, both sides will have leverage on things like length and value. Jack’s camp will want a contract based on promise whereas the Jaguars might want to go more on whats been shown, either way, compromises will have to be made for both sides.

When looking at linebacker contracts in the NFL, there is some variance in the values; it will be contingent on if the Jaguars view Jack as the longterm guy at MLB or if they will continue to utilize him outside like Smith. The two sides might construct a deal that could be beneficial for either scenario if it came to this.

Jack’s projected contract: Five-years, $42 million with $14.7 million in guarantees

Again, assessing Jack’s value is a tough one, because although his ceiling is tremendously high, it could be hard for the Jaguars to justify in making him one of the highest paid linebackers in the NFL. This deal gives either side a little bit of what they want. The Jaguars lock up their former second-round pick into the foreseeable future but at a manageable price. Jack and his camp get a deal that allows Jack to possibly test free agency again by age 28, something I’m sure his camp is thinking about. Aside from shorter, fully guaranteed deals, Jack would be in the upper half of the league in both yearly averages as well as total guarantees.

 

The most underrated edge rusher in the NFL, Yannick Ngakoue

Jan 7, 2018; Jacksonville, FL, USA;Jacksonville Jaguars defensive end Yannick Ngakoue (91) points during the second half of the AFC Wild Card playoff football game at Everbank Field. Jacksonville Jaguars defeated the Buffalo Bills 10-3. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Wednesday morning, news broke that the Minnesota Vikings had extended young defensive end, Danielle Hunter, to a big five-year, $72 million extension with $40 million guaranteed.

This deal will undoubtedly be the benchmark for Ngakoue and his camp going forward in negotiations. Both Hunter and Ngakoue are 23 years old and putting up stellar numbers for being so early in their careers. Both players were picked in the third round and deserve proper extensions; Hunter is the first to receive his. In his first three seasons, Hunter is averaging 8.5 sacks a season and on the flip side, Ngakoue going into his third year is averaging ten sacks a season and coming off his best season with 12.0 sacks.

For Ngakoue, he has put himself in a very good spot for extension talks as he continually has gotten better each season and could be a 10+ sacks a year candidate who only helps his wallet. Eventually, when Calais Campbell either retires or is no longer a Jaguar, Ngakoue will take over as the face of Sacksonville.

Ngakoue’s projected contract: Five-years, $75 million with $44 million in guarantees

Again, a very similar deal to Hunter’s, and rightfully so. Both players are having almost identical stories and production as similar ages. Ngakoue is slightly outperforming Hunter and therefore earns a little more on his deal, but I don’t foresee anything too drastically different from Hunter’s deal for Ngakoue. The Jaguars could play around a little bit by tweaking the length and guarantees but ultimately think Ngakoue is in line for a minimum of $15 million a year.

 

By the end of the 2018-19 NFL season, the Jaguars are likely (for both the fans and teams’ sake) to have their cornerback, edge rusher and linebacker of the future locked down for many seasons to come. Can’t wait to see John Idzik work his magic again.

Christopher Thornton Is the Co-host for Locked On Jaguars. Christopher lives in Jacksonville and is currently a season ticket holder for the Jacksonville Jaguars. You can find me on Twitter (@Mistochristopho) and contact me at [email protected]

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Jacksonville Jaguars

Jaguars vs. Patriots Week Two Inactives: Fournette Out, Campbell Starts

Demetrius Harvey

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Aug 18, 2018; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars defensive tackle Calais Campbell (93) reacts during the game against the Minnesota Vikings at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

The Jacksonville Jaguars and the New England Patriots have released their inactive lists for the game today.  For the Jaguars star running back, Leonard Fournette is out today with a hamstring injury. However, Calais Campbell who was added late to the injury report with a knee injury is expected to start today.

There was speculation before the game that Campbell could be out. It is possible the Jaguars limit his snaps this week.

Jaguars running back TJ Yeldon will start ahead of Fournette. Corey Grant will also look to get in on the fun after only having one touch last week against the Giants.

JAGUARS INACTIVE REPORT

One surprise on the Jaguars inactive list is rookie linebacker, Leon Jacobs. Although he was injured this week with the ankle injury, he was thought to have been progressing. Look for linebacker Larentee McCray to take his place at SAM linebacker.

 

PATRIOTS INACTIVE REPORT

 

For the Patriots they are without their starting right tackle in Marcus Cannon. They also get back their starting running back in Rex Burkhead as well as their first-round pick, rookie running back Sony Michel.

 

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Jacksonville Jaguars

Jaguars Promote Running Back Brandon Wilds, Release WR Rashad Greene

Demetrius Harvey

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Aug 30, 2018; Tampa, FL, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars running back runs the ball Brandon Wilds (38) in the first quarter against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports

According to Mark Long of the Associated Press, the Jacksonville Jaguars today have promoted Running Back Brandon Wilds from the practice squad to the 53-man roster. As a corresponding move, the Jaguars have released veteran Wide Receiver Rashad Greene Sr.

This move should not come as too much of a surprise as starting running back Leonard Fournette has been nursing an injured hamstring all week, and TJ Yeldon was added to the injury report yesterday with an ankle injury.

The move might indicate that either Fournette will not be playing in tomorrows matchup against the New England Patriots, or Wilds will simply be insurance in case the star running back goes down again. Either way, it is something to keep an eye on as the Jaguars announce their inactive report around 90 minutes prior to kickoff tomorrow.

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Jacksonville Jaguars

Jaguars vs. Patriots: Friday Injury Reports, Fournette Questionable

Demetrius Harvey

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Aug 9, 2018; Jacksonville, FL, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars running back Leonard Fournette (27) takes a handoff from quarterback Blake Bortles (5) during the first quarter against the New Orleans Saints at TIAA Bank Field. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

The Jacksonville Jaguars and the New England Patriots have officially released their Friday game status injury reports ahead of their week two matchup in Jacksonville, Florida. For the Jaguars coming into this game against the Patriots, all eyes have been on star running back Leonard Fournette as he nurses a hamstring injury. Today, the Jaguars officially listed him as questionable. Fournette has not been able to practice the entire week and will have to prove to the Jaguars training staff as well as the coaching staff he is good to go.

If Fournette is not cleared look for TJ Yeldon to take over as the Jaguars starting running back this weekend. It is also likely the Jaguars would elevate running back Brandon Wilds from the practice squad as they currently only have two running backs besides Fournette on the 53-man roster. Corey Grant would also more than likely receive his bulk of the carries in the event Fournette cannot go.

As for the rest of the Jaguars players, the only player who was a late addition to the Jaguars injury report was running back TJ Yeldon. He, however, will play this Sunday as that injury has seemingly been deemed minor.

Below are the Jaguars and Patriots official gameday statuses:

JAGUARS:

 

PATRIOTS:

QUESTIONABLE
RB Rex Burkhead – Concussion (Limited participant)
T Marcus Cannon – Calf (Limited participant)
DB Keion Crossen – Hamstring (Limited participant)
RB Sony Michel – Knee (Limited participant)

For the Patriots their most notable players on the injury report are running backs Burkhead and Michel along with tackle Marcus Cannon. Burkhead being out this week against the Jaguars for the Patriots is notable due to the lack of weapons at the running back position. If Burkhead and Michel cannot go the Patriots will likely lean on running back James White for the bulk of the carries. I would, however, anticipate at least one of the two running backs to be active this Sunday.

If Marcus Cannon is out this week, then the Patriots will turn to LaAdrian Waddle at the right tackle position. Waddle is a journeyman and more than likely would struggle against the Jaguars front four.

For the Jaguars as well as the Patriots both teams are relatively healthy. The areas to watch will continue to be the running back positions and how the Jaguars, as well as the Patriots, handle the situation. With Fournette as a true game-time decision, keep a close eye on the Jaguars inactive report 90 minutes before kickoff this Sunday.

 

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