The Jaguars produced another big victory during the third day of their bye week Wednesday when they signed linebacker Telvin Smith to a four-year contract extension.
A fifth-round pick of the Jags in the 2014 NFL Draft, Smith has emerged as one of the teams’ best players and he will now be paid like it as his new deal is reportedly worth $50 million.
“I am excited about the opportunity to continue my career in Jacksonville and stay with the team that believed in me coming into the league in 2014,” Smith said in a statement released by the team.
“I am grateful for my family, my friends, my teammates, my coaches and the incredible Jaguars fans for always supporting me and allowing me to play this game that I love.
“It’s been a privilege (playing for the Jaguars and owner Shad Khan) these last four years, and there is so much that I want to accomplish as a teammate and as an individual in this league.
“We have created a bond in that locker room and everyone is committed to our goal of winning football games. I am honored to be a part of that culture and help continue to lead this team in the right direction.’’
The 6-foot-3, 215-pound Smith was named a captain for the first time this year and has now played in 53 games (47 starts) and currently leads the Jaguars with 58 tackles, including at least 10 in each of the last three games.
Smith earned the AFC’s Defensive Player of the Week award for Week 5 by recording 10 tackles and a 28-yard interception return for a touchdown in the Jaguars 30-9 victory over the Steelers and he “earned this extension,’’ said Tom Coughlin, the Jaguars Executive Vice President of Football Operations.
“We want to identify the players who will contribute to helping this team win going forward, and reward those who can do that,’’ Coughlin said. “ Telvin is certainly one of those players for us.
This is a high performance business, and we look for his continued development as a team leader both on and off the field. Along with this new contract, Telvin must accept the high expectations that go with it.’’
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