Josh Scobee and the Jacksonville Jaguars agreed to terms on a four-year, $13.8 million deal that makes Scobee the second-highest paid kicker in the NFL.
The deal came after a stalemate between the two parties as they failed to agree upon a number that matched Scobee's perceived worth. The Jaguars' front office wanted to wait until the market had set a price on his services, while Scobee and his agent wanted more.
The end result seems to be a compromise between the two lines of thinking. Scobee was franchise tagged earlier in the offseason, and the negotiations ran right up until the deadline. Scobee joins 12 other players that were franchise tagged who went on to receive multi-year deals.
Now that Scobee received a $3.75 million signing bonus and averaged $3.45 million yearly, he is only the second-highest paid kicker in the NFL behind the Oakland Raiders' Sebastian Janikowski.
Last season Scobee was one of the NFL's best having made 23 of 25 of his attempts. It was the second-highest percentage of his career, and he was also perfect on all extra-point attempts. What makes these statistics all the more impressive is he was handling the kickoff duties as well.
Scobee realizes that there is an added sense of pressure now that he has finally earned the big money, as he revealed to Jacksonville.com:
“There’s added pressure anytime you sign a nice deal because people expect you to live up to it,” Scobee said. “I won’t put any extra added pressure on myself. I like to take things easy and not take myself too seriously but at the same time work as hard as I can to be the best kicker I can. So I’m sure my teammates expect me to make every kick, and that’s my goal so that’s what I’ll work to do.”
As the years wear on, Scobee will likely continue to be one of the highest paid players at his position. He earned the raise, but there is more pressure now than ever as he enters his ninth year in the league.
For the Jaguars, it is nice to finally have a key element of the franchise locked up. With that being said, it may be time for the front office to address other, more pressing matters. First round draft pick Justin Blackmon is having issues with the law and his contract, while the NFL's rushing champion Maurice Jones-Drew is holding out for more money.
Scobee's contract is still a feel-good story despite all the other negatives surrounding the Jaguars organization right now. He has been a rock for the franchise for years now—he just needs to make sure it stays that way now that he got paid.