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Jaguars Reportedly Agree to New 4-Year Contract with Abry Jones

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistFebruary 17, 2017

NASHVILLE, TN - OCTOBER 27:  Abry Jones #95 of the Jacksonville Jaguars looks on during a NFL game against the Tennessee Titans at Nissan Stadium on October 27, 2016 in Nashville, Tennessee.  (Photo by Ronald C. Modra/Sports Imagery/ Getty Images)
Ronald C. Modra/Sports Imagery/Getty Images

The Jacksonville Jaguars and defensive lineman Abry Jones came to terms Wednesday on a four-year, $16 million contract, according to NFL Network's Mike Garafolo

On Friday, ESPN's Adam Caplan reported Jones' deal includes $6.5 million guaranteed. He'll earn a fully guaranteed $2.5 million base salary in 2017 and earn another $1 million through a roster bonus that vests on March 13. In 2018, $3 million of Jones' base salary is guaranteed. 

Jones signed with the Jaguars as an undrafted free agent in 2013 and spent most of the past four seasons as a reserve defensive tackle. In all, he's registered 97 combined tackles, 5.5 sacks and two forced fumbles across 54 games, including 11 starts.

The 25-year-old Georgia product made nine of those starts this past season after Jags starter Roy Miller suffered a season-ending Achilles injury in Week 7. The backup took full advantage of the opportunity by playing some of the best football of his professional career down the stretch.

Pete Prisco of CBSSports.com came away impressed after watching Jones operate during Jacksonville's 38-17 victory over the division rival Tennessee Titans in December:

Pete Prisco @PriscoCBS

Guy on Jaguars defense who is a building block and will be a really good player is Abry Jones. Tape was impressive against the Titans

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Jones told Ryan O'Halloran of the Florida Times-Union after the season concluded that he was pleased to play well when called upon, even though the chance to start came through unfortunate circumstances:

I was happy to see that I finished the year healthy and really didn't squander the chance I got even though it came in a bad way. I felt like I got more into a groove so it wasn't hard to get started and I was more into the game. I was seeing and hearing stuff that helped me later in the game and helped me improve my game. That was the major difference for me.

In addition, the strong finish to the 2016 campaign came just in time to boost the tackle's stock before becoming an unrestricted free agent for the first time since after the draft.

The Jaguars clearly didn't want to see him walk away after witnessing the type of impact he was capable of making during the second half of last season. That said, the re-signing creates a logjam on the interior heading into training camp.

Jacksonville has Miller, Malik Jackson and Sen'Derrick Marks under contract at defensive tackle along with Jones. And the team's starting defensive ends, Jared Odrick and Dante Fowler Jr., are also slated to return. That's six players with just four spots available.

So Jones may open up the year in a reserve role since he's handled being part of the rotation well in the past. But his overall workload should increase once way or another with the new deal in hand.

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