Notebook: Jaguars QB Bortles signs $54 million extension
The Jacksonville Jaguars signed quarterback Blake Bortles to a three-year, $54 million deal that will keep him under contract through the 2020 season. The deal includes $26.5 million guaranteed.
The Jaguars announced the move Saturday, one day after handing out two-year extensions to top executive Tom Coughlin, coach Doug Marrone and general manager Dave Caldwell.
Re-signing the 25-year-old Bortles is an indication how the front office and coaching staff feel about their roster: They want to keep as many pieces in place for another run at the Super Bowl.
The Jaguars (10-6) won the AFC South for the first time in team history and made the playoffs for the first time in a decade. They advanced to the AFC title game for the first time since 2000, losing to New England 24-20 after having a 10-point lead in the fourth quarter.
Bortles completed a career-high 60 percent of his passes last season for 3,687 yards, with 21 touchdowns and 13 interceptions.
Longtime Jets LB Harris retires • Former New York Jets linebacker David Harris, second on the team’s career tackles list, has retired after 11 NFL seasons. Harris made the announcement in a statement released on Twitter by his agents .
“After 11 years of having played the greatest team sport at its highest level,” Harris wrote, “it’s now time for me to announce my retirement from the NFL.”
Always understated and humble off the field, Harris was an intense presence on it — earning the nickname “The Hitman” for punishing ball carriers.
He spent his first 10 seasons with the Jets, who drafted him in the second round out of Michigan in 2007. Harris was surprisingly released by New York last June and signed to a two-year contract by AFC East rival New England a few weeks later.
The 34-year-old Harris was mostly a role player with the Patriots, appearing in just 10 regular-season games, and he did not play in any postseason games, including the Super Bowl against Philadelphia.
He made his mark with the Jets, though, leading the team in tackles in nine of his 10 seasons with them. Harris was also a locker-room leader who was adamant about leading by example with an unquestioned work ethic rather than with his words.
“Players like David Harris don’t come around very often,” Jets coach Todd Bowles said in a statement posted on the team’s website . “He’s one of the best players and people I’ve ever coached.”
Harris’ preference to stay out of the spotlight in New York was a rarity for a player of his skill level and accomplishments. He never sought endorsements or acclaim, but Harris was recognized for his play on the field around the league. He was named a second alternate to the Pro Bowl after both the 2009 — when he was also a second-team All-Pro pick — and 2011 seasons.
Harris was the middle linebacker in Rex Ryan’s top defenses during the Jets’ runs to the AFC title game in the 2009 and ‘10 seasons. He was twice selected by teammates as the Jets’ Dennis Byrd “Most Inspirational Player” and was the team MVP in 2010.
Compensatory picks awarded • The Packers, Cowboys, Raiders and Bengals will each receive four compensatory picks in April’s draft.
The NFL announced that 32 such selections will be split among 15 teams. Compensatory picks are awarded to teams who lost more or better compensatory free agents than they acquired in the previous year.
For example, Arizona lost defensive lineman Calais Campbell, who became a 2017 All-Pro with Jacksonville. Same thing with Cincinnati losing tackle Andrew Whitworth, who was an All-Pro with the Rams last season.
All compensatory picks will be positioned within the third through seventh rounds based on the value of the compensatory free agents lost. Receiving selections in the third round are the Cardinals, Texans, Broncos and Bengals at Nos. 97-100 overall.
In the fourth round, Green Bay, Arizona, the New York Giants, New England and Dallas will have picks, from Nos. 133-137.
Cincinnati has one spot and Dallas and Green Bay each have two spots at the end of the fifth round. All four of Oakland’s choices will be in the sixth round, when Houston and Minnesota have two selections each, and Baltimore, Green Bay, Dallas and Kansas City each have one.
At the end of the final round, the Bengals have two picks, while the Chargers, Buccaneers, Cardinals and Falcons each have one.