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Sen'Derrick Marks turns 'prove-it' deal into long-term contract

Marks was the best player on the Jaguars defense in 2013 and that manifested itself into a four-year contract for the defensive tackle.

Sam Greenwood

The first four seasons of the NFL career of Sen'Derricks Marks yielded three sacks, three forced fumbles, no fumble recoveries and eight passes defended with the Tennessee Titans. While the 2009 second-round pick showed flashes at times, he was largely disappointing for the Titans and finished with negative grades from Pro Football Focus in each season.

Unsurprisingly, he didn't receive many looks in free agency, instead settling on a one-year deal worth $1.5 million with the Jaguars. Fifteen games later and Marks has turned that deal into a four-year contract with the team worth $22 million.

Was it Gus Bradley's hybrid defense that did Marks well, or did a lightbulb go off for the fifth-year defensive tackle? It's hard to say, but it's not hard to see why this was a deserved deal for the lineman.

In his 15 games with the Jaguars, he has already surpassed many of the statistics it took him four years to compile in Tennessee. Marks has tallied four sacks, two forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries and eight passes defended. His impact on the defense might even go beyond that too, as PFF has credited Marks with 24 quarterback hurries.

Simply put, he has been the best player on a Jaguars defense that showed a lot of potential in Bradley's first season, despite injuries and inexperience.

A year ago Marks reached free agency and didn't turn heads. Now the 26-year-old defensive lineman is a cornerstone for a rebuilt defense that would appear to have nowhere to go but up in the coming seasons.

He accepted the challenge that came with a "prove-it" contract and turned that opportunity into a long-term place with the Jaguars.