It took three years and three "franchise" designations, but the Jaguars and safety Donovin Darius finally agreed on a long-term contract.
The four-year deal runs through the 2008 season and puts $4.968 million in Darius' hands this year. Darius would've earned the same as a "franchise" player this season. His decision to sign the long-term contract was obviously motivated by his desire to remain in Jacksonville. The new contract allows the Jaguars to recover use of the "franchise" tag.
Jaguars players are to report today for the start of training camp and the Darius contract should help provide a focused start to one of the most critical seasons in Jaguars history.
Coach Jack Del Rio will blow the first whistle of training camp tomorrow at 10:15 a.m., and hope is the team will sign first-round draft pick Matt Jones to a contract today. It would be the Jaguars' last piece of business to conclude before camp begins.