The Jacksonville Jaguars will sign defensive tackle Abry Jones to a new deal before he hits free agency, latest NFL news confirmed on Tuesday. The fresh contract is reportedly for $16 million for four years with about $6.5 million guaranteed.
Jones re-signed early to avoid free agency
Abry Jones was a restricted free agent so the Jaguars locked him down early so other teams won’t have a chance to get him in the 2017 offseason market. Jones was coming off a 2016 season playing a career high in minutes and games played. He recorded 32 tackles only but he was an intimidating presence in Jacksonville’s interior line that allowed his teammates to do a better job in their roles.
Per league source, #Jaguars nearing new contract with impending FA DT Abry Jones.
— Ryan O'Halloran (@ryanohalloran) February 14, 2017
Jones will turn just 26 this September so his new contract will run during his prime in the NFL. For his career, he has 88 tackles, 5.5 sacks and two forced fumbles.
Jones was overlooked in the 2013 NFL Draft where no team picked him. Jones was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Jaguars that year and made the 53-man roster for Jacksonville.
The Jacksonville Jaguars went 3-13 last season, the last place team in the AFC South and one of the worst teams in the league. However, Jacksonville is in good position to draft a top prospect when they pick fourth overall in the 2017 NFL Draft in July.
Jaguars’ defense needs help
The Jaguars are not a team that puts much pressure on the quarterback. The signing of Jones plus the improvement of other defenders like Dante Fowler and Yannick Ngakoue is important for the team’s development next season.
The Jacksonville Jaguars are rumored to be drafting a DT like Jones and have been linked to Alabama’s Jonathan Allen in many NFL mock drafts. It’s likely that Jacksonville drafts another defensive player since they were one of the worst defensive teams in the league last year.
In other Jaguars news, the team retained coaches Ron Middleton, Mike Rutenberg and John Donovan earlier this month. Others who stayed with the team are Mike Mallory, Jason Rebrovich, Joe Danna, Eric Price and Tony Sparano Jr.
Highlights of Abry Jones mic’d up vs Indianapolis Colts
Video courtesy: YouTube.com/Player’s Mic’d Up