(Ed Zurga / AP)
Since there's really no such thing as guaranteed contracts in the NFL, we are going to examine which players gave the Jaguars the most "bang for their bucks," and which players effectively earned more money than their on field production would've called for. Let's begin with the Jaguars all-bargain team.
1. Quarterback David Garrard- You all know the story of Garrard, how he was made the starter, his Crohn's disease, etc. He finished as the league's third-rated passer with a quarterback rating of 102.2, and gave stability to the Jaguars quarterback position for the first time in about five or six years. Garrard was a second-alternate for the Pro Bowl, and won the Vizio Top Value Performer Award for his fine play in the 2007 season. Garrard earned just $1.1 million in salary in 2007, and will likely get a long-term extension from the team this spring.
What about next year? Under Garrard's current contract, he's due to earn $1.25 million in base salary before hitting free agency in 2009.
2. Running back Maurice Jones-Drew- MJD followed up his fantastic rookie season with another fine year, showing 2006 was no fluke. Jones-Drew scored nine touchdowns on the ground during the regular season, added another via a 100 yard kickoff return, and scored two more in the Jaguars opening round playoff victory at Pittsburgh. The Jaguars 5'7" running back totaled over 2000 yards from scrimmage for the second consecutive season. Jones-Drew earned a base salary of just $360,000 in 2007.
What about next year? Under Jones-Drew's current contract, he's due to earn $445,000 in base salary.
3. Linebacker Daryl Smith- Daryl Smith anchored the Jaguars defense, and for the second consecutive year was forced to move from outside linebacker to inside linebacker when Mike Peterson went down with a broken arm. Smith made the move flawlessly, and seems to be a much more natural fit in the middle of the Jaguars defense. Smith earned just $510,000 in base salary in 2007.
What about next year? Under Smith's current contract, he's due to earn $605,000 in base salary plus a $5 million option bonus.
4. Defensive end Paul Spicer- Paul Spicer was easily the team's defensive MVP in 2007, as the 32 year old registered 7.5 sacks and 3 forced fumbles. Spicer was the only defensive end that commanded a double team, so most of his damage was done against two or more blockers. Spicer was one of the biggest surprises of the season for the Jaguars, and earned just $1.5 million in base salary.
What about next year? Under Spicer's current contract, he's due to earn $2.5 million in base salary before hitting free agency in 2009.
5. Wide receiver Reggie Williams- Reggie Williams stepped up in 2007 and changed the way most of the NFL thinks about the Jacksonville wide receivers. Williams continued his stellar blocking with some tough catches and even showed an ability to make the big play. Williams broke Jimmy Smith's team record by catching 10 touchdown passes last season. Williams earned a base salary of just $510,000.
What about next year? Under Williams' current contract, he's due to earn $605,000 in base salary before hitting free agency in 2009 (contract voidable).
Charlie Bernstein is the Editor-in-Chief of JagNation.com, and a regular syndicated contributor to FoxSports.com, Sirius NFL Radio, MySpace Sports and Sportsillustrated.com. Charlie is also a member of the Pro Football Writers Association, and is a columnist for the New Smyrna Observer. Feel free to contact him -HERE- with questions or comments.
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