The Jacksonville Jaguars are a young team on the rise and today they locked in one of their rising stars to a new contract. Wide receiver Allen Hurns reportedly signed a four-year contract worth $40 million Thursday, making him one of their highest paid offensive weapons. The contract gives the 24-year-old $20 million guaranteed over those four years.
An undrafted free agent out of Miami in 2014, Hurns has become one of Blake Bortles favorite receiving targets. In his two years in Jacksonville, Hurns has 115 catches, 1,708 receiving yards, and 16 touchdowns. Despite taking wide receiver Allen Robinson out of Penn State and USC's Marqise Lee in the second round in the 2014 draft, Jacksonville signed Hurns to a three-year, $1.545 million contract.
Hurns was entering the last year of his rookie deal and would have become a highly sought after restricted free agent in the offseason. Pro Football Focus ranks him the 18th best receiver in the league last season.
The 16 touchdowns puts Hurns tied with teammate Allen Robinson on the Jaguars all-time touchdown list. Jimmy Smith is the franchise leader in touchdowns with 67, which took him 10 years to achieve.
In his first career game, the 6-3 receiver had four catches and two touchdowns on the road against the Philadelphia Eagles. He is the only rookie to ever score two first-quarter touchdowns in his first career game.
As a member of the Hurricanes, he set the school's single-season receiving record with 1,162 yards.
This deal bodes well for Robinson, who has also played exceptionally well for Jacksonville. A contract for him will all but certainly be higher than what Hurns received.
After years of suffering in Jacksonville, the team now appears to be on track. With Bortles, Robinson and Hurns finding on-field chemistry last year, the team can utilize running backs T.J. Yeldon and Chris Ivory to balance out the offense. Tight end Julius Thomas will come into camp healthy, giving Bortles another big weapon to use.
Defensively the Jaguars have stacked up their front seven in the last two drafts. Six of their seven draft picks in 2016 focused on the defensive side of the ball. Last years first round pick Dante Fowler missed his rookie year with a torn ACL and is reportedly on track to start in 2016. Rookie studs Jalen Ramsey and Myles Jack will be helping in both the run and pass game, while Yannick Ngakoue and Sheldon Day provide punch on the defensive line.
Free agent signee Malik Jackson will also create a big impact for Gus Bradley's team going forward.