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Agnew providing a – dynamic – spark


JACKSONVILLE – His cleats are headed to Canton.

And while Jamal Agnew may not quite be Hall-of-Fame bound, the Jaguars' wide receiver/returner has made a huge impact during three weeks with the team.

His teammates have noticed in a big way.

"He's an All-Pro," Jaguars defensive end/linebacker Josh Allen said following a 31-19 loss to the Arizona Cardinals this past Sunday. "I just want to get that out there."

Here's why Allen is lauding his new teammate:

Because on a team that has needed a spark in the early part of Head Coach Urban Meyer's first season with the team, Agnew – a fifth-year veteran who signed with the Jaguars as an unrestricted free agent this past offseason – has been just that. A game-breaking, momentum-changing spark.

"That kid is a dynamic guy with the ball in his hand," Meyer said. "That's why we went after him in free agency. That's a game changer and he's an even better guy than he is a player."

Meyer, when taking over as Jaguars head coach in January, placed front-line special teams among his top priorities. Toward that end, the team in March signed Agnew as an unrestricted free agent after he spent four seasons with the Detroit Lions.

Agnew, a fifth-round selection from San Diego by the Lions the 2017 NFL Draft, returned four punts and a kickoff for touchdowns in four seasons with Detroit and earned All-Pro honors as a rookie in 2017 when he returned two punts for touchdowns.

Photo by James Gilbert / Jacksonville Jaguars

His impact in Jacksonville has been immediate.

"He's a dynamic player, man," Allen said. "He's great to have. What he does, he makes every one of them count as the last one."

Agnew in Week 2 returned a fourth-quarter kickoff 102 yards for a touchdown in a 23-13 loss to the Denver Broncos. The play set a franchise record for longest kickoff return.

Agnew this past Sunday made his impact in record-setting fashion, returning a missed 68-yard field goal by Cardinals kicker Matt Prater 109 yards for a touchdown that gave the Jaguars a 13-7 on the first half's final play. The return tied the NFL record for longest play, with Cordarrelle Patterson returning a kickoff 109 yards for a touchdown for the Minnesota Vikings in 2013 and Antonio Cromartie returning a missed field goal the distance in 2007.


Agnew's cleats from that game will be on display in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio.

"I said this when I first got here: 'He deserves all the hype that he gets because he's the best in the league," Jaguars wide receiver Marvin Jones Jr., a teammate of Agnew's with the Lions from 2017-2020.

Agnew never had been on the field to return a potential missed field goal, a situation that typically only arises near the end of halves or games on unusually long attempts.

A new situation didn't mean a lack of confidence for Agnew.

"I've never done it before, but I mean, it's all offensive linemen and probably a couple tight ends and then the kicker [on the opposing field-goal team],'' Agnew said.


For Agnew that meant his speed was a major advantage on the play.

"I was like, 'If he (Prater) doesn't get this, I'm probably going to score,''' he said. "We always talk about somebody making that big play, somebody creating that spark. It's all big dudes out there. So, I just can't get tackled by the kicker, honestly, that's my thought process.

"I knew I just had to stand up vertical just to get their feet stopped and just use my speed to get to the sideline. Somebody almost got me down by my shirt. Thankfully it didn't."

Agnew said he thought he would score as soon as Prater missed.


"I knew that they're probably not going to catch me because I'm just going to use my speed," he said. "Everybody set that wall up for me on the left and we created that spark right before the halftime."

Allen was among those forming that wall – and among Jaguars teammates ecstatic for a new teammate who had provided a historic, memorable spark.

"That's one of the prime examples of what we needed at that time," Allen said. "You see Jamal just take it out and it was, 'Get your block. Do your part. Do your job. Competitive excellence.' If we don't all do our jobs, (if) Jamal doesn't do his job. That's just an example of us playing as a team, playing as one and playing for each other.

“We had a taste of what it's supposed to feel like and what it's going to feel like around here. That's what I love to see. It felt great.” - DE/OLB Josh Allen

Top photos of Jaguars return specialist Jamal Agnew's historic 109-yard field goal attempt return for a touchdown.

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