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Travis Etienne, Jaguars Reportedly Agree to Terms on 4-Year Rookie Contract

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistJuly 19, 2021

Clemson running back Travis Etienne (9) runs for a touchdown during the first half of the Atlantic Coast Conference championship NCAA college football game against Notre Dame, Saturday, Dec. 19, 2020, in Charlotte, N.C. Etienne was selected to The Associated Press All-America first-team offense, Monday, Dec. 28, 2020.(AP Photo/Brian Blanco)
Brian Blanco/Associated Press

The Jacksonville Jaguars and running back Travis Etienne reached an agreement on a four-year rookie contract that includes a fifth-year team option. 

Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reported details of the deal after the Jags selected Etienne with the 25th overall pick in the 2021 NFL draft in April.

The 22-year-old Louisiana native is coming off a standout collegiate career at Clemson. He recorded 6,107 yards from scrimmage (111 per game) and 78 total touchdowns across 55 appearances for the Tigers. His 4,952 rushing yards and 70 scores on the ground are both school records.

Jacksonville's decision to take Etienne with its second pick of the opening round after landing quarterback Trevor Lawrence at No. 1 came as a bit of a surprise because of the team's backfield depth chart.

James Robinson put together a strong rookie campaign in 2020 with 1,414 yards from scrimmage and 10 touchdowns in 14 games. The team also featured ample reserve options, led by Carlos Hyde and Dare Ogunbowale.

Etienne will bring a game-breaking element to the backfield with his 4.4 speed, and his improvement as a pass-catcher should ensure a consistent role in the offense despite the other backs fighting for touches.

The two-time ACC Offensive Player of the Year also has a built-in rapport with Lawrence from their time together at Clemson, which figures to work in his favor as new Jags head coach Urban Meyer and his staff work to get the top pick comfortable in the NFL as quickly as possible.

"I did have it in the back of my mind that I might have a chance to reunite with Trev," Etienne told reporters. "For it to come full circle, I'm just happy, excited and blessed. Being his teammate for three years, we've really built that camaraderie. I don't have to work on getting to know somebody else."

As a whole, the Jacksonville offense carries intriguing potential with Lawrence, Etienne and Robinson joined by the wide receiver trio of DJ Chark Jr., Marvin Jones Jr. and Laviska Shenault Jr.

Etienne may not post monster numbers during his debut campaign because of the talent around him, but he should see double-digit touches on a weekly basis, and his role should increase in the years ahead.