Left tackle Eugene Monroe may be the closest thing to a franchise centerpiece that the Jaguars have, but that hasn't led new general manager Dave Caldwell to talk extension with the offensive tackle and Monroe doesn't expect that they'll be talking any time soon either, according to Ryan O'Halloran of the Florida Times-Union.
"I do [think about it] but my focus is on always getting better," he said today in the Jaguars' locker room. "Whether the deal is up, it doesn't dictate how I train because I'm the same way every day. I don't focus on it. We have a new system and I'm focused on soaking in all the new information and improving my game."
Monroe, 25, was the first-round selection of the Jaguars in the 2009 NFL Draft and was the team's starting left tackle right away. While it took some time for him to settle into the role, Monroe has developed into one of the better left tackles in the NFL.
His grade of +21.0 from ProFootballFocus in 2012 was the highest of any Jaguars player and placed Monroe as the league's 10th best left tackle in the 2012 season. In 2011, Monroe had a similar grade, finishing the year at +22.0, the third best score among left tackles.
Waiting until after the 2013 season for a contract extension is the same strategy Caldwell is reportedly using with Maurice Jones-Drew, another player that is scheduled to hit free agency in 2014.
In the midst of a rebuild, Caldwell is seemingly hesitant to dish out a large contract to any player before he has to, even if that player is considered part of the team's "core."