Former Miami Hurricane Brandon Linder has just signed a five-year, $51.7 million dollar extension with the Jacksonville Jaguars, per Ian Rapoport. The extension makes Linder the highest paid center in NFL history.
Brandon Linder Signs Extension With Jacksonville Jaguars
A third round pick in 2014, Linder has had a very solid start to his career in Jacksonville. In that time his premier blocking ability at both the guard and pivot positions has been on full display. Speaking to the press following the extension, Linder said: “It means the world to me, I’d love to play here my whole career. I fell in love with this city and we have big things coming, changing the culture… I couldn’t think of a better place to play my career.”
This sort of long term commitment will excite Jaguars fans worldwide, as the pendulum seems to finally be swinging in Jacksonville’s favor.
With Linder entering the final year of his rookie deal, there was no doubt that the Jaguars would prioritize locking up a future Pro Bowl offensive lineman to help pave the way for 2017 first-round pick Leonard Fournette.
Stressing the importance of not letting contractual issues detract from progress on the field, Linder said that contract talks “picked up” over the past fortnight.
“It was something we wanted to get done so now we can just play ball,” Linder emphasized.
Linder received $24 million in guaranteed money on Tuesday, and will therefore be hoping that his previous injury issues do not reappear. Having spent the 2014 season excelling at right guard, Linder was forced to miss the 2015 season due to shoulder difficulties. Durability concerns aside, Linder should prove worth every penny of this historic contract – as he looks to become one of the foundation blocks of a promising Jaguars franchise.
There are plenty of other contract situations to keep tabs on in Jacksonville. With wide-receivers Allen Robinson and Marquise Lee, as well as cornerback Aaron Colvin and linebacker Telvin Smith all due a new contract this season.
Although Jacksonville has been able to attract free agents in recent seasons due to the vast amount of cap space, re-signing all of the 2014 class may end the run of high profile additions in the off-season.