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|Donte Moncrief is gladly gambling on himself.The former Indianapolis Colts receiver signed a one-year Redskins Troy Apke Jersey , $7 million contract with AFC South rival Jacksonville on Thursday, believing he will prove he's worth a more lucrative, long-term deal.
"I love that deal," Moncrief said. "I know what I'm capable of, I'm back healthy and I'm going to go out here and show these guys what I can do, show the NFL and put everything on my shoulders and give Jacksonville all I got and help these guys win. I know I can."
The Jaguars are counting on Moncrief to help offset the loss of former Pro Bowl receiver Allen Robinson, who signed a three-year, $42 million deal in free agency with Chicago.
General manager Dave Caldwell said keeping Robinson would have cost more than the team was willing to pay for a not-so-speedy receiver coming off knee surgery.
"It was difficult," Caldwell said. "Obviously we have a connection with A-Rob. We drafted him here. We saw him kind of grow into the player he was. ... We've tried to put our best foot forward and get him back here and it didn't work out. Obviously wish him the best, but once that happens, we go to Plan B and Plan C."
Jacksonville could have placed the franchise tag on Robinson. That would have guaranteed him a salary of $15.9 million in 2018, which would have made him one of the highest-paid receivers in the league.
The Jaguars clearly didn't think Robinson was worth it. Instead, they used the money to sign All-Pro guard Andrew Norwell in hopes of solidifying a ground game that stalled down the stretch last season.
The 26-year-old Norwell was the gem of Jacksonville's free-agent class. The former Carolina Panthers standout signed a five-year deal worth $66.5 million Thursday.
"Obviously we have a philosophy of how we're going to play and what we want to do and he fits all of those," Caldwell said. "Tough, nasty Authentic Tremaine Edmunds Jersey , run-blocker, very good pass protector. Started, been healthy and is the right age to invest into."
Tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins, cornerback D.J. Hayden, safety Don Carey, safety Cody Davis and tight end Niles Paul also signed free-agent contracts with Jacksonville on Thursday.
Seferian-Jenkins visited earlier in the day and ended up with a two-year, $10 million deal.
"My No. 1 goal to accomplish with this team is earn my teammates' respect," Seferian-Jenkins said. "I'm going to let all that other stuff handle itself."
The Jags also re-signed receiver Marqise Lee to a four-year deal worth $38 million. It includes $18 million guaranteed.
"I weighed all my options," Lee said. "At the end of the day, when I really sat down and thought about it, a lot that played into my decision were the people around the building. The trainers, the equipment staff, my teammates, I enjoyed them for my four years, so as far as change http://www.falconsauthorizedshops.com/authentic-ito-smith-jersey , going somewhere else, I don't feel like it was necessary."
Lee, Moncrief and second-year receivers Dede Westbrook and Keelan Cole will be counted on to stretch defenses and create extra running room for Leonard Fournette. Westbrook and Cole showed promise during the regular season, but went mostly missing in the postseason.
"They're growing up," Lee said. "They understand what they got to do this second year and how much we're depending on them as far as getting their jobs done."
The same could be said for Moncrief, who had 152 receptions for 1,875 yards and 18 touchdowns in four years with the Colts. He missed 11 games the last two years because of shoulder and toe injuries.
He's healthy now and welcomes the stakes that come with signing a one-year contract. He feels it's a safe bet.
"They were just things that were holding me back," he said. "Now, I'm finally healthy and I know what I've got in me and it's on my shoulders and I'm ready to go."
The Jacksonville Jaguars used the NFL draft to build for the future, not necessarily this fall.They used every pick on down-the-road starters instead of filling pressing needs.
It’s a luxury rarely seen in Jacksonville, which made the AFC championship game in January after a decade of failure and futility. The Jags return 18 of 22 starters from a team that led the NFL in rushing and ranked second in total defense.
Top executive Tom Coughlin and general manager Dave Caldwell liked the team’s makeup enough that they actually made a best-player-available pick in the first round when they added Florida’s Taven Bryan to a defensive line that includes Pro Bowlers Calais Campbell, Malik Jackson and Yannick Ngakoue.
”We want the competition. We want it as much as we can get it,” Coughlin said following the three-day draft Saturday. ”That’s the one thing in our game that makes everybody better. These people were drafted to be football players, whether it’s a starter or whatever. It takes everybody.”
Bryan was the first of several Jacksonville draft picks expected to be backups as rookies.
The Jaguars envision LSU receiver DJ Chark (second round), Alabama safety Ronnie Harrison (third) and North Carolina State right tackle Will Richardson (fourth) as eventual starters Youth Isaiah Oliver Jersey , but neither of them is considered a plug-and-play guy.
”If they come in and play that is a bonus, too,” Caldwell said. ”We are not just going to say, `Hey, take it easy for the next two years.’ Those guys have to come in and compete. … Competition is great. The more depth you can have and be prepared for any situation then the better off you will be.”
Here are some other things to know about Jacksonville’s draft, which included Nebraska quarterback Tanner Lee (sixth round), Wisconsin linebacker Leon Jacobs (seventh) and Mississippi State punter Logan Cooke (seventh).
TAKING A CHANCE: The Jaguars took a chance with the 129th pick on Richardson, who was suspended twice in three years at North Carolina State.
The 6-foot-6, 306-pound Richardson started 30 games at right tackle for the Wolfpack. He was suspended for the first two games last season for what he said was a marijuana-related violation. As a redshirt freshman in November 2015, he was arrested for allegedly driving while intoxicated. He was suspended one game for that and served a university-imposed suspension for the 2016 spring semester.
”Ideally, we don’t like any baggage,” Caldwell said. ”We don’t like to have to answer these questions on a day like today, but we also understand some of these players have a past and hopefully they grow from their past and become fine, upstanding citizens. The time that his discipline ended to this point and time in the draft and all the research and background checks and everything we’ve done on him has led us to believe that hopefully that’s behind him now. Time will tell, and it’s up to him to make sure that he holds his end of the bargain up.”
Richardson will compete at right tackle with 31-year-old Jermey Parnell Adidas Sidney Crosby Jersey , and if he doesn’t win the job, would be the team’s swing tackle in 2018.
DEVELOPMENTAL QB: Jacksonville added a third quarterback when it drafted Nebraska’s Tanner Lee in the sixth round. Lee will compete with Cody Kessler for the backup spot behind Blake Bortles. Coach Doug Marrone said the team would be open to keeping three QBs on the roster.
The 6-foot-4 Lee has a big arm, but he completed just 57.5 percent of his passes in 2017, with 23 touchdowns and 16 interceptions. He transferred to Nebraska after three years at Tulane. Jaguars offensive assistant Eric Price served as Tulane’s offensive coordinator during Lee’s time on campus.
”We know the kid very well, his makeup, his intelligence, his drive, his attitude,” Caldwell said. ”He’s going to fit in well with Blake and Cody and that quarterback room. He’s an accurate passer when he has time like most of them. He was under a lot of duress this year at Nebraska. We feel like he can come in and he’s got a high ceiling because of the arm strength at the accuracy and the quick release.”
STILL NEEDED: The one position the Jaguars failed to address in the draft was tight end. They parted ways with veteran Marcedes Lewis in March, leaving them to rely on Austin Seferian-Jenkins in 2018.