The Jaguars are favored for the first time in nearly a month as they take on the 2-2 Cincinnati…
Thomas Locked Up Through 2015
Thomas, who signed a four-year deal as a rookie in 2009, got a three-year extension Thursday worth $18 million that includes $9 million in guaranteed money. The new deal will tie him to the Jaguars through the 2015 season.
The Jaguars also extended special teams ace Montell Owens for three more years earlier in the week even though he is currently out with a knee injury.
Before the Owens signing, the Jaguars were $35.4 million under the cap.
The Jaguars aren't likely to do any additional extensions until after or late in the season.
A fourth-round selection in the 2009 draft, Thomas is making $525,000 in base salary this year in the third season of his rookie deal.
He started 15 of the 30 games he played in his first two seasons and caught 114 passes. This year, he leads the team with 20 catches.
Thomas' most memorable moment came last year when he caught a Hail Mary pass on the final play of the game to beat Houston. The Jaguars tried it again in a rainstorm in Carolina at the end of the first half, but the Panthers had it covered, so Blaine Gabbert threw it to him on the 7-yard line, and he managed to get into the end zone for the touchdown.
Thomas said he was humbled by the new contract.
"I'm definitely excited, but I've still got a job to do. It really isn't about the money to me. I play just as hard with the check I'm getting now. I'm grateful and ecstatic, but I still feel I have a lot ahead of me, so that is where my focus is," he said. "I want to be great. That's where my focus is now. It's kind of a surreal feeling."
Of the confidence the organization showed in him with the new deal, he said, "That's always a plus. But at the same time, I'm a confident guy myself. If it wasn't here, I'd be somewhere else. Pretty much how I feel about it."
He said the emphasis now has to be on the offense improving.
"We have to get better as an offense," he said.
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