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2014 offseason: Brandon Linder signs


JACKSONVILLE – Brandon Linder has waited a long, long time for the moment.

Now that it's done – now that Linder is officially a signed professional football player – he said the idea is to move forward to the task at hand.

"It's very cool," Linder said Monday afternoon. "Since I was playing little league football, it's always been a dream of mine to play in the NFL. For it to become reality is pretty exciting."

Linder, an offensive guard, signed his rookie contract with the Jaguars shortly after the team's seventh organized team activities workout Monday at the Florida Blue Health and Wellness practice fields.

Linder became the sixth player from the Jaguars' 2014 draft class to sign.

"It's nice to have it done, and now I can just focus on football," Linder said. "Knowing that I'm here, I'm just excited. It's a big thing, I think – all the hard work and sacrifice (his family) put in … it's showing that it finally paid off."

Details of the contract were not released. All rookies except for first-round selections sign four-year contracts.

Linder (6-feet-6, 311 pounds), a third-round selection from the University of Miami, is a potential starter at right guard for the Jaguars next season, with veteran Jacques McClendon also in the mix at the position. The Jaguars traded up to get Linder in the 2014 NFL Draft last month and released veteran guard Will Rackley soon thereafter.

"It (the NFL) is a little faster," he said. "I just think as an offensive line it's all about the unity and gelling together and all of us getting on the same page. It's been good."

The Jaguars recently signed fourth-round cornerback Aaron Colvin (Oklahoma), fifth-round defensive end Chris Smith (Arkansas), sixth-round center Luke Bowanko (Virginia), seventh-round running back Storm Johnson (Central Florida) and fifth-round defensive end Chris Smith (Arkansas).

The signing leaves three Jaguars rookies unsigned: first-round quarterback Blake Bortles (Central Florida), second-round wide receivers Marqise Lee (Southern California) and Allen Robinson (Penn State).

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