The Jacksonville Jaguars have had many players of their own that have been worth handing big money second contracts to. The team has drafted poorly for a while, but did find some gems in the likes of Telvin Smith in the fifth-round, who should also be in line for a payday and undrafted free agent wide receiver Allen Hurns, who already got his.
The next young player in line for what should be a big(ger) contract is defensive lineman Abry Jones.
Jones joined the Jaguars as an undrafted free agent in 2013 and earned a spot on the 53-man roster, eventually earning playing time and then in 2014 entrenching himself as a rotational player on the defensive line at multiple spots.
Fast forward to the 2016 season and some people, like myself, thought his roster spot might be in jeopardy because of the logjam of young defensive lineman and the thought that the Jaguars defense would be more aggressive and not use as many downs with a nose tackle. Good thing for Jones that the team didn’t have the same line of thinking I did and that he’s versatile enough to play three different positions on the defensive line and he made the final roster and became not only a staple on game day, but one of the defenses most valuable players.
Jones eventually took over as the team’s starting nose tackle when Roy Miller went down for the season with an Achilles injury. Jones not only filled in for Miller, but I’d argue he played better than Miller did, bringing an added dimension. Jones played so much better for that matter than I think he’s earned himself a long term extension and that Miller could end up being expendable during the offseason. Not just because Miller suffered a severe injury mid-season and likely won’t be ready for the start of the 2017 season, but just that fact that Jones is more versatile and dynamic as a player and Miller is purely just a space eater at the nose tackle position.
I have no idea what the standard for a nose tackle contract in the NFL looks like, since the position isn’t typically highly valued and/or paid, but looking over some other nose tackle deals currently in the NFL it looks like it may fall somewhere in the range of four to five years for about $25 to $40 million.