The Surprising News on Greg Jones

The news that the Jaguars re-signed fullback Greg Jones wasn't surprising. The news was the amount of money he'll receive.

After all, Jones was widely liked by the staff, especially coach Jack Del Rio, who became as emotional about any Jaguars player in his time with the club when he announced two years ago that Jones would miss the entire 2006 season after suffering an ACL injury in a preseason game.

No one has come out to confirm the figure, but the reported numbers being tossed about are that the former Florida State standout, who suffered his first ACL injury in college, received more than $17 million over five years. It's quite a hike from the scheduled $545,000 in base salary that Jones was due to make for the coming season.

The deal is supposedly even better than the six-year, $18 million contract that Atlanta Falcons fullback Ovie Mughelli received on opening day of free agency a year ago. His deal included a $5 million signing bonus as one of the biggest arrangements for a fullback. It's uncertain what Jones' signing bonus was.

The new agreement takes Jones off the free-agent list, which he was about to test in a couple of weeks. Jones has performed well for the Jaguars when healthy, but it has been almost exclusively as a blocker. Last season he got the ball for 42 rushing attempts in 16 games and netted 119 yards, a 2.8 average. His longest run was for just 11 yards.

He caught 11 passes for another 99 yards and scored twice on rushes and another two touchdowns on receptions.

The Jaguars are well under the salary cap, but they haven't dished out big dollars in the past to players who aren't in the spotlight. In this case they thought enough of Jones' blocking and how effective it was in helping teammate Fred Taylor hit the 1,000-yard mark for the seventh time in the last nine seasons.

Jones played well enough to get voted as the first alternate in the Pro Bowl but didn't make the trip to Hawaii. He said he was pleased to rebound from the surgery 18 months ago and is hopeful to produce an even stronger season in '08.

"Yes, I feel I did (surpass his expectations in '07), but I feel I can do better than what I did last season," he said. "They say it's a year after the surgery that you can become your normal self. Hopefully this 2008 year will be better than 2007."

No question it will be better financially.

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